Here and Now

Here and Now: Nothing Lasts Forever

It can’t last forever. Others have thought such things, in bad times before this, and they were always right, they did get out one way or another, and it didn’t last forever. Although for them it may have lasted all the forever they had.

Margaret Atwood

I’m not a fan of platitudes or sentimentalism… but I am a sentimental person, at times, with occasional sprinklings of platitudinal thought. Never make life dull by doing the same things frequently. 

Two platitudes, sentimentalisms, have been “here and now” and “nothing lasts forever.” The first, I heard from a Richard Pryor comedy special, Here and Now. The other, I’ve heard lots, but in passing. It’s not registered, consciously – much. 

When I am sentimental, I’m tired from manual labour, at home, sore, recovering, gathering thoughts from the day to begin writing, once more. Simply, I will listen to something by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Corelli, Holst, Sweelink, Sibelius, or Vivaldi, maybe some contemporary music. 

Right now, for example, I’m listening to Beethoven’s 6th symphony by the late Herbert von Karajan. Karajan conducted marvelous pieces of classical music. Symphonies open, become a journey, and then close, then mundane life continues again. There is a transience in them, as with individual human lives, particularly, and human life, generally. 

My writing syncs with this. I put some sentences down, order them, edit, and, somehow, the article or essay pops up. Some touch-ups as necessary. Which is to say, writing becomes symphonic. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Harmonies hint at themes. Structure bursts forth. Tones tumble over timbres. Baselines plummet from the heavens. Resonances rise as higher harmonics trot a unified theme. Letters to words to sentences to paragraphs to a singular idea, point. Both arts make the same mark. Neither lasts forever. Transience is permanent. It is the rule, not the exception. 

Partnerships follow this theme. They seem best lived with renewal. There is a tale between two people. 

Moments do not live in the future. They live here-and-now, do not last forever. A sensibility of the eternal alteration. Living for the story here and now, it honours the records written and the trajectory intended. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

In the final act, one protagonist dissipates, as a flame, then another, as the same. They don’t travel to another moment. When a flame snuffs, it simply stops the act of “to be,” of being. An end of a person is the end of the duet. 

They don’t go anywhere or anytime, anymore; they lived in some places, for some times. Which is to say, that’s the end of the person. The conclusory note to the symphony, word to the essay. The specialness of the moments comes from the ephemerality. 

They’re integrated with the lived past and the projected future. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. Flickers of love, courtship, bonds, marriage, births, deaths, funerals, all make a story, the same duo’s mythos. 

Their own individual meaning in an ocean of heres-and-nows, where nothing lasts forever. These platitudes seem profound. They speak to a depth about an intimate couple’s relations if reinterpreted. The “forever” is really forevers. 

Before their lives, sat eternity, and after their partnership, another eternity or a forever-nothing, an erect monument to their now-eternal non-being. They performed their parts in their play, played their denouement in their symphony, punctuated their novel with a final period, period, period…

Their only real forever is here-and-now. When enacting their “to be,” their only known sits between two eminent marble tablets marked “BEFORE” and “AFTER.” The unique quality of this forever is the love bonded between two to form a one. A continual transforming in their forever, which lasts as long as it needs to – with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

That’s a forever – a heaven – worth existing, for a time.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Author: Scott Douglas Jacobsen