“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day 34] When The Past Pierces The Present Moment…

First of all, you have my apologies in advance, and if you’re going to read further you might want to take an aspirin first.

I may be a bit bi polary in the moment but that’s actually when some of my best ideas come. Plus I was born in 1954 and I was raised during that era when splitting the atom was all the rage as dinner table conversation and terrifying in every other way imaginable.

Add to that I am a metaphorist by trade and yesterday was Thanksgiving. What this means is that most of what I write about is metaphorical and currently fueled by the overwhelming nostalgia that holidays bring. I know little about the science behind all of this so don’t leave me comments about how far off the mark I am. I was born so far off the mark your comments won’t even register, but I do appreciate the thought.

I was sitting here, Thanksgiving having opened up a vein of melancholia so deep I think I may have overshot the mark and touched down on memories from previous lifetimes, and something hit me that I thought so profound I had to look something up.

I have been writing about practicing mindfulness, and I was sitting here today sinking deeply into the moment at hand when I had a thought that made a chill go down my spine and the few short hairs on my head stood straight up. I am going to have a very hard time explaining this so I hope you will bear with me. The thing that I had to look up was about splitting atoms and it just seemed to fit as a way to describe what was racketing around in my brain.

We know that the whole point of mindfulness is to stay in the present moment, we all agree on that. One doesn’t want to let their mind wander to times past or sit with their knickers in a twist worrying about what might lie ahead. That’s pretty much “Mindfulness 101.” But I believe I have discovered a very specific set of circumstances that might be more than a shade of grey or at the very least open up a very interesting discussion. Hang on, I’m getting there.

If you refer to the chart at the top which is pretty much the one I saw in school 50 or so years ago you will be better able to understand the hypothesis I am about to present. In simplest terms fission is when an atom (In the above diagram it’s uranium and we REALLY don’t want this to happen.) is split into fragments and in the process a tremendous amount of energy is released. I’m not trying to go all scientific here, I couldn’t if I wanted to, it’s just that this image literally hit me between the eyes so mightily that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head so I thought I’d write it all down here.

So, what if you are not lingering in the past but, as you sit there deep in the present moment, like a streak of lightning something from the past blasts right through the present moment, causing the “atom to split” if you will, and fragments explode in every direction releasing enough energy to…

Well, you see, I got this far.

I think there is something here. It happens to me on holidays. Maybe it has something to do with my age, but I bet you know what I mean. Say that you are not someone who is prone to melancholia but a holiday comes around that doesn’t seem to bother you any which way and you sit there having a lovely dinner with family and friends and then later, after you are home but before your pumpkin pie has properly digested, you are sitting peacefully on your couch with, say, a few pugs around, not in the least depressed or any such thing and …

Something comes out of NOwhere, you weren’t thinking about it, it wasn’t even on your radar all day, but home and comfy and cozy and just about to watch something really good on t.v. and a memory over a hundred years old comes flying in through your window and splits your present moment as cleanly as the two parts of the atom and —–

BeFunky_KAPOW .jpg
—- your present moment shatters into billions of pieces heading off in every direction and the speed at which these pieces and parts are traveling is so fast it is just OFF THE CHARTS and your whole universe is spinning out of orbit.

This is exactly what happened to me. It was not my fault. I was sitting here peacefully minding my own business, not bothering a single solitary soul, feeling pleasant, and FISSION happened smack dab in the middle of my present moment. It was an anomaly. This sort of thing doesn’t just go around happening, but it is very disturbing and I haven’t felt right since.

I felt I should warn you in case this kind of thing happens. The path of mindfulness is not strewn with roses. It is not for the faint of heart.

It would be irresponsible of me to be writing about mindfulness and have some innocent happen upon a blog post willy nilly and get started on the whole business and have something untoward happen that they weren’t aware might happen nevermind prepared for. I felt it was my civic duty to come clean about the whole business so I couldn’t be held accountable later.

I’m thinking this post might serve as a disclaimer for the whole 365 days. Better safe than sorry. Read this post first before you read anything else.

There. I think that about covers it. Now I need to go lay down. I need an aspirin. It hurts to have your atom split. At least Thanksgiving won’t be coming around for another year.

My apologies for any discomfort this post has caused. Sincerely.

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. How did you get inside my head?!

  2. I won’t answer that question. Not without legal counsel present.



  3. You are not alone…same thing happened to me. Great explanation and metaphor.
    Many blessings…

  4. Donna! Scary, isn’t it?

    Fasten your seatbelt. We are just at the beginning of the Thanksgiving to New Year Holiday Slide! 😀

    I feel atoms splitting everywhere!



  5. Maybe I’m dense, but what happened when your atom split and memories 100 years
    old came rushing in? were they memories of thanksgivings past? of giving birth to your children? of being a tiny toddler eating your first bite of “grandma’s” stuffing? or did you go prehistoric? i found this blog to be a teaser, cuz i wanna know!!!

    i love this quote by Kafka: “all things possible do happen.”

    with hugs Katya

  6. Wow! That post whizzed into my brain and started a series of firings.

  7. Why Katya Sabaroff Taylor! Are you asking me to reveal state secrets? You know what they say,”I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” 🙂

    Ha ha ha, the point really is not about any specific memory although I did have rather poignant memories that kind of blindsided me, and I am not going to discuss them here, but the point is not the specific memories but how holidays seem to universally cause a reaction, a time when all of our past Thanksgivings or whatever all the way back to childhood, good, bad and otherwise, seem to come back, and sometimes catch you off-guard. I think for people who have lost someone, who are now alone after having always had people to celebrate with, who are estranged from loved ones, or who long for happier days when things were different, can find these memories very painful.

    I had a beautiful Thanksgiving with family and I cherished it but then home that night it was literally, as I wrote above, like someone shot an arrow straight through my heart suddenly, out of nowhere. This comes in different forms for different people but you know better than anyone the personal and the universal have a direct connection and writing about it helps other people not feel so alone with their feelings.

    That’s pretty much it honey. Did I answer your question? All except for the state secrets of course. 😀

    Much love to you and your beautiful family..


  8. Cathryn! Watch those synapses! When they start firing they will shoot you over the moon and out into space!

    It is hard to stay present when these feelings nearly sweep us overboard, but it was in working HARD to come back to the present moment that I was able to hang on and move through it. But the whole holiday season will have echoes of this culminating on Christmas Day.

    Here’s to surviving and embracing it all. Maybe if we hold hands we can get through.

    Blessings and love dearheart,


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