An Instant’s Choice

by Shawn Allen


On that day when everything catches up to you

All at once:

All the petty and miraculous, the ecstatic and mundane,

The laundry and the orgasm and the cruelty and the passion

and the duty, the freedom, the lies, the miracles, the falseness and the all-too-real –

All the ‘all’ of it –

All at once.

You have to either scream or be struck silent

For the first time in your life:

Absolute silence…

And you hear.

And suddenly you know

(Because the divine in you speaks clearly in that utter stillness)

That everything until this moment

Has been play-acting,

Preparing you for this instant

When the choice becomes clear

And the world falls out from under you

And the sky opens so very wide

That you fear being devoured by it

And you are floating in a matrix

Of what is and may be and glorious, maddening chaos

And choices.

Every choice you will ever make and ever could make

Lives in this one fragile instant;

Quicker than a heartbeat

Or the flap of a hummingbird’s wing,

With ripples and waves that will long outlast you.

Choices that are truly only one choice…

If you scream, in that instant,

You will feel the walls and the labels and the prisons

Close in like a suffocating desert:

And the scream coming up from your soul

Will never end.

Yet, if silence takes you,

And you listen, listen, listen to that sound,

That voice of unreason,

The God-voice that is you,

Every moment from then on will belong to you

To experience, to love, to pray, to create!

And you will be free.

Know this: one day all of it will catch up to you,

All you are or ever have been

And you will have but an instant to choose

Whether to scream,

Or hear the silence…