After: A meditation

Discarding religion was easy.  Discarding the great philosophers was harder, but in the end Kant, Sartre, Hume, Aristotle, were all asking for a great deal of work to define a very simple thing, an automatic thing, a thing that just does, life.

Zen came close.  But Zen is Now, and now isnÕt really what I am.  IÕm now now, but I wasnÕt now before, and I wonÕt be now tomorrow.  More laterÉ.

IÕve finally found it, and itÕs a small thing, a trivial thing, a thing of essence and simplicity and elegance.

I believe in After.

After is where you are.  After is what you are. After is the result of all the actions in your life, and the place where you are now.

We live in after.

Did your boss fire you.  This is after you were shocked and upset.

Did your boyfriend sleep with your best friend?  This is after you knew.

Are you suffering from lung cancer?  This is after you found that out.

Did you just have the most wonderful meal in your life?  This is after the plates are cleared away.

After.  WeÕre the result of whatÕs gone on, we suffer the consequences, we savor the memories, we cherish the knowledge.

But itÕs all gone.  Our lives are defined by the shadows of what happened a second ago. 

What are you thinking right now?  Too late, thatÕs an old thought.

When you kiss your wife or husband, in the act of kissing youÕve kissed, and itÕs after that.

Everything you know, everything you are, is after everything else youÕve been and seen.

All your actions create an After.  WeÕre defined not by what we do, but by the results of what we did.


- Dejah Tallen, 2005