Judith McNally

judithmcnally.jpg


Here And Now

When do you lose the present moment?

The present moment?

Yes. What distracts you?

How would I know if I was in the present?

Nothing would be distracting you.

From what?

From the present.

But how would I know?

You’d be focused.

On what?

The here and now.

This conversation, for instance.

Yes. Unless your mind is wandering as we speak.

Then wherever it wanders to is the present.

No.

If I’m thinking I have to buy cat food, then that’s my focus. That’s my present moment.

But the conversation isn’t about cat food.

It is now.

The cat food is a distraction.

From what?

From the question about what distracts you.

That’s the present moment for you. Why do I have to be in your present moment, instead of you being in mine?

Well, for starters, I don’t have a cat.

Couldn’t a conversation shift from your original question, over to cat food?

Shifting and wandering are two different things.

It’s still one person controlling what the conversation is about.

Well, it’s sort of a contract that two people enter into when they have a conversation, that they’re going to talk about the same thing.

Have you ever thought about having a cat?

No, but—

Because they can be very affectionate and independent, both.

I—

And cats are very in the moment. Even when they stare at something, and you look, and there’s nothing there.

Right.

So even cats get distracted. Unless they’re hunting. Then the focus is absolute.

Maybe I should be having this conversation with your cat.

Maybe when he wakes up.

Judith McNally has been writing “microlgoues” for 15 years. She is a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Prose Fellowship recipient, and has taught Creative Writing widely in the New York and Princeton areas.

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Published in: on April 6, 2007 at 8:56 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I loved this piece. It shifted my present moment to Judith’s past moment. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. The poem is excellent.It is capturing every moment.

    I would like to translate it in Tamil ( for acedemic purpose – not fpr commrcial ) to introduce to Tamil literary readers . I request your permission

  3. I ENJOYED READING YOUR POETRY WHEN I WAS HOME SICK FROM WORK. WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT THAT SOMEONE I MAY BE RELATED TO GENETICALLY, COULD BE SO CREATIVE.

    ALL THE BEST FOR 1

  4. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CREATIVITY
    JUDY MCNALLY CHELLIS

    FATHER-JOHN MCNALLY BORN BLACK HILL COUNTY DURHAM ENGLAND


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