I remember once taking the escalator down to the lower level in New York City’s Grand Central Station to ride the subway. It’s a long escalator, and it was very crowded with commuters in both directions. As I got about two thirds of the way down, I could see a digital readout begin to appear on the ceiling below. It’s designed so riders can see more and more of it as the escalator descends.
Most people take the same route every day, so they probably ignore it, but since I’ve after a while. But since this was the first time I had noticed it, I paid particular attention. (And besides, what else was I to do at that moment?)
The first words I saw on the screen were ‘The time is now.” Even though we now hear phrases like “Be in the present moment” from time to time, it wasn’t as common a couple of decades ago and this caught me by surprise. “Wow,” I thought. This is just what we busy New Yorkers need to see; a reminder to “stop and smell the roses” or however else each of us would think of this. And it came at the absolute best time: when a lot of people would be innerly complaining about their day at the office or crowded commute home from work. Brilliant on the part of the city of New York to put this profound wisdom in this very spot!
And then the escalator descended another few feet and I saw the next part of the text: “5:21pm.”
The time is now
The joke was on me!!! Far from being the profound thought I initially interpreted it as, it was simply a digital clock. The time was now 5:21pm and I was probably late for dinner!
I smiled a bit, had a chuckle at my own expense, and went on my way. But I never forgot the message: The time is now.
If you want to learn piano, really begin to learn piano, you have to start now. Now “now” can mean “tomorrow,” but when “tomorrow” arrives, you do need to start “now.” At some point, you’ll need to decide “I’m going to start, for real.” Now.
And that’s when the true journey begins.
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