On Stillness

It was just a moment. Which is sometimes all it takes.

We were at a restaurant, my friend and I. A loud, posh spot where everything was in movement: waiters moving around tables, hands moving through gestures, forks moving to mouths, eyes moving across phones.

It’s in our movements, after all, that we try to find what we need: money, attention, food, something or anything to keep boredom at bay.

We ordered warm drinks. And I left for the bathroom around the corner. Though darted is a better word for it. Because darted is how one gets through all the movement. So, I darted for the bathroom.

And when I came back, turned the corner into the great swell of waiters and hands and forks, I caught sight of my friend.

She sat tall, silent, and still. Her hands rested in a little stack on the table. Her spine in a single, simple upward line. There was no fiddling with a phone, a menu, a sugar packet, no searching for something to occupy herself. There was just her in the now, the here, the this.

It was so beautiful it stopped me right at the corner. And I thought, Remember this. This is what it looks like when a person utterly inhabits a moment.

Long after we finished our drinks, long after we left the loud, posh spot, and long after I moved out of the city it was in, I remember this moment. Which was all it took to remind me that in the thick of movement, we can choose stillness.

And find all that we need in it.

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