Missing: Present or Absent


What is missing? No really, what is the experience of missing. That experience of longing, of memory, or attachment to something that is no longer present. Where does it arise? Is it in our heart, our mind, our memory? What can we even define as our heart, our mind, or our memory?

Look at the things in life we miss. The people. Who do I miss from just a day apart, what about a week apart, or the people we know we will never see again because death or life has drawn us apart. But some I don't. And the places. A city is just a city in the world of "what is." Or a house is just a house. Some cities and some houses and buildings or cafes I miss. But others I don't. And the moments. A night during the summer filled with electricity, humidity, maybe even some nudity, a day on the beach filled with sunshine and heat and scratchyness of sand. But others I don't. And the feelings. Sometimes I long to feel my chest pounding after running with excitement to meet someone, the anticipation before entering a classroom to deliver a first lecture, just before you kiss someone for the first time. But other feelings I don't.

Attachment could be at play. Maybe missing comes from attachment to something that was present when we realize that presence has melted into absence of something from life. Attachment doesn't have to come over a long time it seems. Rather it comes from the place inside that gauges how real something is in our world. Or how congruent. I've become attached to people, places, foods, feelings, moments in just that...moments.

Having my life in a car calls me to look at attachment. And missing. And the presence and absence of things in my life. At times certain people are present, then absent. Or moments are present and then absent. Cities are certainly present, then absent. Feelings are most definitely present then absent.

Missing is an experience I use as a test for reality. If I miss a person then "I must really care about them." If I miss a city, then "I must really like it there, maybe I could live there!" If I miss a moment then "That must have been a really special time."

But what IS missing? Where IS missing? It is in the space between my shoulders on the front of my body, my chest, as a deep pain, kind of like when you run in the winter cold air. It is behind my forehead like a dull feeling on a morning after a late night out. It is in my stomach like when your hunger starts to gnaw at your stomach. It is in my mind like the buzz in your ears when they are ringing.

What's missing when we experience missing? Presence. Of a thing, a person, a time, a feeling. And mostly of our awareness. The presence of our awareness in the present.


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© 2019 Olivia Pavlov