Nothing else than now #poetry #dVerse

Time’s the illusion
we don’t grow up, we grow out
away from our essential selves
only to fall back in.

There’s a black hole at the centre of our being
radiating light
as Stephen Hawking proved, who said
‘I don’t believe in God.’

It doesn’t matter what you call it
once you find it there is only peace
and bliss and joy in every moment
knowing every moment’s
all there is.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for dVerse

Lisa is hosting today’s Poetics, and has asked us to choose from one of ten Hemingway quotes as the inspiration for our poem. I chose:

There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion.

–For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

I get a bit teary every time I read this, because the book affected me greatly. Some people believe Hemingway is the ultimate ‘manly’ writer, and try to copy his prose in an ultra-masculine style, often to fail miserably. To me, he is the ultimate human writer, who can capture the essence of the human spirit which connects us more than it divides, regardless of our race or gender or belief system. I think that is how he managed to create such well-rounded and fully developed female characters, such as Pilar (my personal favourite) in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

As for the theme of my poem, it’s a favourite of mine at the moment, and I think Leonard Cohen sums it up perfectly:

…that’s how the light gets in.

73 thoughts on “Nothing else than now #poetry #dVerse

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  1. I agree, we can’t know God until we are still enough in the moment to dive deep inside that black hole that radiates light, as you so eloquently described it! 💗

  2. Ingrid, I love what you did with the quote and I appreciate your afterward. If one can find that spin and hold on for dear life, the world is a much brighter place. One thing I learned while watching the series is that his beloved boat was named Pilar. He lost her, along with his beloved home, during Castro’s revolution 🙁

  3. “There’s a black hole at the centre of our being radiating light.”.. yes, yes! This is such a stunning write, Ingrid! 😍😍

  4. I have a weird relationship with God. I just believe there’s something greater out there as the world is often inexplicable and maddening enough, but eh, that’s me lol.

    Like you said here, it shouldn’t matter:

    “It doesn’t matter what you call it
    once you find it there is only peace
    and bliss and joy in every moment
    knowing every moment’s
    all there is.”

    I agree with this entirely, and that should be humanity’s main goal. Beautifully written from start to finish, Ingrid! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. <3 <3

    1. Oh Lucy, it’s great to find it, but sometimes it also feels very hard to find it! I think that’s what faith being tested truly means…

  5. We need, in equal measure a little faith and a little madness. We need to dwell in our freedom and spiritual beliefs.BTW, the boat PILAR, is still in Havana, and Adrian Sparks playing Hemingway got to film PAPA on it.

  6. I don’t know about God, but I do believe that the Journey is a return to the beginning. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” is H’s best-known work that I have not yet read, although it turns out I own two copies. How’d that happen? After reading your words about how well you liked it, I shall have to sit down with it soon.


    1. I need to fill in the gaps in my Hemingway reading too, especially before sitting down to attempt further work on my novel!

  7. Hmm, my comment disappeared, or else you have moderation on. Let me try again. I don’t know about God, but certainly the Journey is a return to the beginning. Re: “For Whom The Bell Tolls” I haven’t yet read that one, but your enthusiasm for it makes me think I better sit down with it soon. I have 2 copies–how’d that happen?

  8. Ingrid, your first stanza resonates deeply with me, being at a place in my life where I am “fall[ing] back in” to passions I enjoyed before I became a grown-up. 😊 Lovely work, as always. Cohen is a nice addition (I am a huge fan).🥰

  9. A lovely reflection. I’m not sure I understood your reference to Stephen Hawking but I loved the imagery around it. And I love Leonard Cohen. His handle on words was incredible. Just this morning I listened to an interview with Stephen Biddulph – an Australian psychologist and author. He talks about how spirituality is anything that takes you outside yourself. Is that the opposite to what you are saying? How you fall back into your essential self? Like me doing a drawing – it takes me to that flow space where I almost cease to exist. It is so beautiful to be so there, you are not there. Anyway, all very interesting ideas and permutations on this foggy winter morning. Thank you.

    1. Ok, so I suppose I’d better explain myself 😅 ‘Hawking radiation is black-body radiation that is predicted to be released by black holes because of quantum effects near the black hole event horizon. It is named after the physicist Stephen Hawking, who developed a theoretical argument for its existence in 1974.[1]’ that’s from Wikipedia. I don’t think they radiate light in a literal sense but I was using artistic license! As for the essential self, I would say it’s the thing you find when you get outside of your perceived self, or the self as you think others perceive you. So it’s similar to what Biddulph was saying, just expressed differently. I hope this makes sense! Thank you for making me think about my own writing 🤣

  10. The book, the film, the sentence …. you chose well. Poetry beyond beautiful and the Cohen music. I sank into both. Hugh sighs from me, Ingrid.

  11. Ingrid,
    A profound meditation on the richness of living in the moment, a richness of “peace and bliss and joy” making time an illusion. A transcendent place to be, this center of “radiating light.”

  12. I like the notion of Hemingway as a human writer. I will have to read more using that context. In the context of your poem, I think time is illusion making for humans, but the present is less so because we are always in it, experiencing it and as such it is eternal. I can see how successfully grasping the moment may therefore be an ongoing joy. Not one I expect to experience, but who knows?

  13. Ingrid, the metaphor of the black hole, reached out and grabbed me! “…There’s a black hole at the centre of our being radiating light…” it is through our own darkness we are often able to find the light. This is just stunning!

  14. “We don’t grow up, we grow out.”
    Absolutely! A black hole radiating light at the centre of our beings – perfectly echoes the image you’ve used <3 We could all do with this reminder 🙂

  15. once you find it there is only peace
    and bliss and joy in every moment

    The awe of discovery is a strong factor in knowing oneself and basking in its blessings. Truly said Ingrid!


  16. as beings of memory and prediction, we most often obscure this moment, don’t we? which you put much more elegantly ~

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