At The Interface Of Now
When Wing Commander Andy Green drove the supersonic car Thrust SSC through the sound barrier to break the world speed record, it created a shockwave in the air. This shockwave, also known as a sonic boom, is the same sound that fighter jets make as they accelerate beyond the speed of sound, and it can be heard on the ground as a loud bang as it travels overhead.
For Andy Green in the cockpit of his car, though, the shockwave travelled with the car, causing an ear-splitting noise that continued for as long as as the car broke the sound barrier. It continued for as long as the car travelled at the threshold of the sub and the supersonic.
We experience a similar thing ourselves. Our entire lives we find ourselves at a threshold, a delicate membrane between two notional states, and this boundary travels with us as we proceed through time, sending ripples outwards just like the shockwave of the supersonic car. This threshold, this fine, almost invisible membrane, separates the past and the future. It is a flashpoint where anything that can happen will happen. It is a singularity that we find ourselves in constantly, but for the most part we aren’t aware of it at all. It is the thing fleetingly known as the present. Now. This moment.
Today is my 43rd birthday, and I am more conscious of being at this threshold than ever before.For most of my life I didn’t even know it existed and its significance was wasted on me. But now, looking out from this singularity which was been travelling with me my whole life, like being encased in some sort of invisible sphere, I think I’m beginning to understand what it means.
You see I’ve already been in the past, but I’m powerless to do anything there. I’m about to enter the future, but as I’m not there yet, I can’t do anything there either. But I can do something right now, and what I do here, at the interface between tomorrow and yesterday, will influence what I’m able to do in the time to come. And it’s coming regardless of what I do, so I’d better make the most of the ride.
Whatever I thought or did yesterday has conditioned my circumstances today. And tomorrow I will be born again to either start afresh, or to build on what I’ve done today. The time will pass anyway, so best not dilly dally. There’s work to do, and if I want the future to be brighter, and if I want myself to be better in it, then I need to take action right now to make it so.
Sometimes that could just mean using this moment to close my eyes and reflect. It could mean planning, organising, scheduling. It could mean doing exercise today, so that I feel fit and healthy in the future. But today is where it needs to happen. Here. Right now.
Forget where you’ve been or what you’ve done. That’s got you this far. It’s time to do the work required to take you further, to make you better, to build and be happier. And that beings here in this moment. So look up, take a breath, stretch out, and get started.