Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Three

Concentrate on the present

Private Park No Trespassing sign

Private Park No Trespassing sign

By WILLIAM PRENTISS

Clarksdale, Mississippi

Rough day. I feel no physical pain, but I still deal with and feel mental anguish. This angst is usually a result of painful memories or frustration with being able to do nothing but “be.”

My Mornings with Tolstoy are the bright spot of my day, but sometimes I struggle with what I screwed up, didn’t do well and surely can’t make right now. I can’t make apologies. Well, I can tell God I am sorry, but He loves me regardless; it’s the other folks I offended who I want to talk to… Sigh.

Tolstoy’s reading today dealt with life, death, the past and the present. Tolstoy wrote, “Real life exists only in the present. The future has no meaning…As soon as you go into the future or the past, you go away from God, and you feel lonely, deserted, and enslaved. The future does not really exist. It is created by us in the present.”

I lie here unable to do anything but think and pray, and am often probably asleep or off wherever it is I go when I am not here. Too many things are cloudy and hard to pin down, but the past haunts me and the future concerns me. I hate that I can’t make things right with folks in my past. All I can do is ask God to forgive me and pray he let’s them know that. In many ways it is like I am dead. Nobody expects much of me; I can’t do things to piss them off like I used to, but the past…always the past…

If…

There are no more ifs, just the present. Sis culminated today’s reading of Tolstoy with his final thoughts about a condition in which people feel they are the architects of their lives. He said it occurs when they concentrate all their efforts and intellect on being present. That I shall do…it’s all I have…

 

“MORNINGS WITH TOLSTOY” consists of the inner reflections of a man in a coma, the victim of a senseless beating. He can only hear, and no one knows this, but maybe his sister. Sis reads three devotional pieces daily and the internal dialogue reflects his response to them. 

Mornings with Tolstoy – The Beginning

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Two: And Goodness for All

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Three: Focus on the present

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Four: Pilgrims

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Five: Fettered by Dysfunction

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Six: Limitations of Pride and Selfishness

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Seven: Empathy, Compassion and the Root of Both

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Eight: Religion and Intellect

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Nine: Conscience, God, Others, and Self

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Ten: Wealth

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Eleven: Where?

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Twelve: Civilization and the Inner Self

Mornings with Tolstoy – Day Thirteen: Judgment, Intentions and Actions

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