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:
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
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…