Be Prepared to Stop at Any Moment

°°

[…] intersection, a roadwork sign warned: BE PREPARED TO STOP AT ANY MOMENT. I felt my jaw dropping. It sounded like a warning, and also a reminder, as if I needed one, that most likely I wouldn’t be hearing […] °

At all times, remain alert

Whether alert to the monster I’s mutterings,

Or alert to the hornet too near one’s elbow

The Universe waits,

With a wrench to drop in your works

Be prepared to stop at any moment, whatever other may be

When you wake to a bear looking you in the eye through the window at 13

Or when someone on your sidewalk collapses in front of you

When a world changing invention crystallizes unannounced in your distant mind

When the voice on the line announces all has changed

Be prepared to stop at any moment:

A stark reminder of no guarantees

The light in the attic is burning,

And these black swans and lottery numbers are better met by Total Presence than moody dreaming or shock-flight


I was about 50 feet from the store where I turned in an application I’d long fretted today (I was approaching) when a horn-blare-bang!-CrashCrashCrash announced a roughly 5 car accident (some may have been parked or de-parking, though). I believed no one was hurt, and didn’t stick around after dropping off my paper to find out. Plenty of people and the manager already on the scene. As I walked home I heard, then saw, an ambulance approaching.

° Later on, I got ONE HUNDRED NAMES FOR LOVE: A STROKE, A MARRIAGE, AND THE LANGUAGE OF HEALING by Diane Ackerman, because I read An Alchemy of Mind by same the year after high school. And found the quote that brought you this poem in chapter 3, page 21.

°° Image snatched from one of the PostSecret books around and abouts New Year’s day

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