We often refer to now as if it were a specific time. Some sources say “now” is the current 3 seconds surrounding any moment, including the one just before and the one just after, as I posted previously.
Which, strangely, dovetails with the definition in Merriam Webster’s dictionary, which I found at first paradoxical:
a: at the present time or momentNow is the time for action.
b: in the time immediately before the presentthought of them just now
c: in the time immediately to follow : FORTHWITHcome in now
How can now be the present, the time before the present (the past), AND the time immediately to follow (the future)?
Perhaps this is because what we think of as now is always changing, moving forward, and when we refer to it, we cannot “catch” it, so we either refer to it as having just gone by or in anticipation of its arriving in the present moment shortly. It suggests that our language shows that now is always changing, that now is a fluid continuum from one moment to the next.If that’s true, how do we ever rest in the now? How can we be in the present moment when it’s always changing? This is the art of presence – the ability to follow the flow, as if carried by the river, noting each moment as it arrives, rests, and passes. Like looking out of a car window as the scene goes by, we can take a wider view, of the glass as a steady presence, while the trees and landscape outside continue to arrive and recede.