Your appointment with Now
I’m not an etymologist. I don’t study the origin of words and how their meaning has altered over time. But I had a teacher when I was eleven years old who loved Latin. He covered the chalk board with prefixes and suffixes, and excitedly expounded how they changed the meaning of words.
So I know that the prefix dis means not.
Therefore, I know the word dis-appointment means someone’s feeling sad because she wasn’t appointed to the position she wanted (Chief Petty Officer, perhaps), or he’s feeling hurt because the young woman with long red hair that glistens in moonlight isn’t standing under the first lamp post on Pont Neuf in Paris at midnight as they had appointed.
Life is full of disappointments. People don’t always get what they want or do what they say they will. I’ve had a book deal fall through, and recently had a message from my dentist: Where are you? Oops! I paid for my forgetfulness and rescheduled.
These dis-appointments are things easily borne or sorted out.
But there’s an appointment we all have that more often than not turns into a dis-appointment.
The appointment we keep forgetting to keep is our appointment with Now.
We’re never here. We’re behind time or ahead of time: living in the past or projecting into the future. Jumping from regret to fear to hope, and back again in an endless cycle that leaves us anywhere but here, now.
I’ve recently come to a conclusion: I’m not going to worry about the disappointments that happen in my life. Instead, I’m going to become aware of how I may be disappointing the universe by not being present, by not being here, at this time, in this moment.
Living with mindfulness
In one of his most famous poems, Thou art indeed just, Lord, the Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins cries out:
. . . and why must / Disappointment all I endeavour end?
A simple answer to this timeless human cry is that our lives are full of disappointment because we’re not keeping the one appointment we’re here to keep.
Don’t dis-appoint the universe.
Keep your appointment with Now.
With love, Marlane