The mummy in the mirror

This day begins gray like yesterday. So I just assume it will be like all the others. Then I go into the garage to get a carton of milk and accidentally knock over a plastic bottle of detergent. It breaks instantly into a creamy white lake on the cold concrete floor. Now I smell like a load of clean laundry. (But it is still a smell.)

I come down to breakfast thinking one more gray day and then bang. Never before have I started a day standing barefoot in white goo. Today is unique!

Today is always new, always now. It is now or never. Laziness makes us mechanically look for matching pairs. ‘Just another dismal day,’ I say and immediately go blind and numb. Maybe that is why the laundry detergent made such a loud statement. See me, touch me, feel me. I clean the mess off the floor and now have a fake flowery fragrance all over me. This day is unlike any other because of a smell which cannot be washed off.

Modern man likes to dress up the eternal now and then pretend it is something he knows. I write the date on the top of the page like a prize. ‘Got it!’

‘What is it?’

‘It’s Friday, June 2nd.’

‘Oh great, thanks. I didn’t know, but now I do.’

A day is not a mental commentary, name or number. It is, just is. Let’s peel it down like an onion. I take off the month, the day, the year as well as my opinion about the weather. I take away the idea of bits and pieces like hours, minutes and seconds. Remove notions like yesterday and tomorrow. We are told the present moment is a gift and that is why it is called a present. I sit down and unwrap it. Day and date, like ribbons, fall onto the floor. Lazy identifiers, like just another gray day, are ripped off. Inside there is nothing.

‘What is it?’

‘Don’t know.’ (Do I have to know? If I know it I kill it.)

‘What is it?’

‘Don’t know. Only this, I’m in it and it’s in me.’

‘Can you name it?’

‘No.’

‘Can you know it?’

‘No.’

‘Well, what can you do with it?’

‘Nothing. I can just be in it.’

As soon as the sun comes up our eyelids go down. Who wants to stumble around in something that cannot be named, known or conquered? It is a lot easier to dream our way through this day which we know is going to be like every other. There is no reason to get out of head. We do it with days. We do it with people. We do it with ourselves.

I get up and catch my reflection in the mirror. Oh, I know that face. I’ve seen you before. In fact, I know all about you. And like a new day captured in calendars and clocks, I get wrapped up in stiff linen straps of what I already know. I look in the mirror but all I see is a mummified me.

Man worships knowledge. But the present moment, the gift of life, is continually reinventing itself. Whatever is now is new.

It is morning. I get a glimpse of my mummy in the mirror. The tomb doors automatically begin to close as my vision shifts from now to know.

‘Wait! Not so fast,’ shouts nose. ‘This person smells like clean laundry (or maybe it’s a chemically created imitation of lavender). Not on file.’

‘What? Who is she?’

‘Don’t know. She’s new.’

‘Who is she?’

‘Don’t know. Just this, she is.’

‘Well, what does she do?’

‘She evolves (maybe we should too).’

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