countdown

TechNews Writer
Pronouns
(She/Her)
Mon Apr 15, 2019

there are packets of peace

scattered about your day

you trip over them as you run to

your next start time, next beginning:

a warm breeze when you're expecting a cold one

a double take at an exceptionally bright, silver moon

that first moment you curl up in your bed

an ensemble’s perfect chord

 

time, like your breaths

an inhale, an exhale

awareness of each breath will capture you

for a moment, a minute, but no more

suddenly all-too aware of the tick of the second hand

but then, the focus slips

it always does

the awareness is gone, but you keep breathing

the second hand continues

but you forget to watch it

and you’re happier for it

 

tick, tock

it's at once

a soothing back and forth of a gentle thumb on your wrist

comforting, familiar, predictable

and a low, murmured threat

a steel tap of a knife

quiet but powerful

gentle but larger than life

slow but unrelenting

 

what is it that you'd like to do

today, tomorrow, this evening?

mull your options carefully

and instead spend the time

wishing you’d done something else

 

the weekend is a safe haven

until it gets there

and you still feel restless, uneasy

you count the minutes until you can lie in bed

and then wish morning would come faster

 

running a race with the finish line unmarked

makes it impossible to pace yourself

are you sprinting when you should be walking?

are you stopping to smell the flowers with a marathon left?

are you running headfirst to the end a few steps away?

 

counting pages until the end of a book

wishing to step across another milestone

“i enjoy reading,” you keep telling people

do you enjoy reading?

you think you will:

next page

next chapter

next book

 

if this headache would go away, i’d be happy

once i eat, i'll be happy

in bed, i’ll be happy

when my to-do list is empty, i’ll be happy

(but when a task is finally scratched off

you’re too busy writing down another

to remember to take a breath;

the countdown doesn’t end

not really

it just simply starts again)

 

there are moments of peace, though, nestled in there

sometimes too quick to notice

sometimes you’re too happy to remember it’s important  

sometimes the desperate wish to bottle up the moment

spoils it

but you nod your head in acknowledgement when you can

 

the first open window at the start of spring

brings a gentle breeze you're surprised doesn't bite your skin

accompanied by a lazy, friendly stream of sunlight

like an apology for the long winter months.

others chatter around you; do they feel as grateful as you do?

your hands rest on your lap, casually curled in a picture of painless peace

a slow, deep inhale:

accept the gift

and move on

 

it's getting further and further from the time you wanted to be asleep

but focusing on the ticking clock doesn't bring you to darkness any more quickly

and you realize, abruptly, how much you enjoy the loud hum of the heater

you enjoy the darkness of the room, unexpectant

you're at peace, you realize

why spend these minutes wishing sleep would come?

spend them warm, quiet, comfortable

at peace

 

you love sitting in the passenger seat of the car

watching road signs fly by

productivity without the need to think.

so why are you wishing you would reach your destination?

why are you counting down the miles until you arrive?

stop pushing peace away

 

don't go through life

hesitating to use your favorite pen

use it every chance you get

speeding through the ink's life

that's what it's made for

 

remember to admire the snow you always say is so pretty

listen to the birds you always say you love

watch the clouds move in the unhurried way that makes you smile

love things

instead of spending your life talking about how much you love them

 

stop counting down to

the end of class

the end of the day

the end of the week

the end of the year

each destination isn’t important

they only connect all the middle parts together

 

stop counting down:

you’re already there. 

 

 

 

Appears in
2019 - Spring - Issue 11
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