The Delights of the Present (Poem)

The Delights of the Present (Poem)

The Delights of the Present


We are, of course,

both beneficiaries and victims

of our own symbol systems


That is, of our imaginations —

of our capacity to go beyond the here-and-now

and conjure up images of what might be


And then, it’s only a few steps from what might be

To the mightiness of what ought to be.

We use our oughts to fashion an ideal world

A world of beauty that we want to uphold and extol.


But this comes, of course

at a price.

Once we imagine our ideals,

we begin to the endless comparison of

what is to what ought to be


But then we seem to find our current versions of “is-ness”

to be consistently wanting


There is, of course

no exit.

We can’t not imagine the worlds we want to live in

If we can’t imagine them, we can’t make them.


And so

we have to guard against making ourselves slaves to the ideal

Because when we do

we gloss over the delights of the present.

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