…’How much better to step onto the simply bathroom scale,

a happy earthling feeling the familiar ropes of gravity,

157 pounds standing soaking wet a respectful distance from the sun.’

Billy Collins, Earthling

It is Christmas eve for those earthlings who pay attention to such things as I do it has been in me since before I could realize the thrill of color and shape illuminated beneath the glowing evergreen I was only 6 days old that first morning that was mine as earthling and this day has been ‘Christmas’ part of my gravity since before I could see it all before me I was born after all on the date I was because my mother requested induction so that she would be home with her came-before-me two sons on the holiday but this is about presence not presents yet I couldn’t help but begin in presents because it is after all the day before Christmas Christmas eve Santa comes with gifts this night to pile beneath the tree of which there is none in this house this year so therefore it is a curious quandary to try to conjure what this imagery would truly mean were it real in my circumstance at this time but there I go digressing again going off on presents instead of presence and this is about the latter so ahem presence I gave myself the present of presence seven weeks ago well about eight really since the present of presence was a seven week package I gave myself this gift after the final 2017 retreat at the EncaustiCastle had concluded realizing I had this chunk of time existent before I had to properly dress and pack and make sure all the fluids were full before driving north to the gathering spot for holiday revelry that is mine this year seven weeks of presence presents and I did it made it lived it that is don’t shrug and harrumph this is no small achievement I don’t receive gifts well I am working on that and this one of presence was the most difficult of all being as I am someone akin to going out getting done tackling what must be tackled and by gum if there is nothing to tackle then going out and finding something that requires said attention that is me in my most natural me form so to take seven weeks it had to be given as a gift that I willfully accepted and daily reopened to remind myself of its importance and the treasure of it and the value the value was not only or even if not at all in the moment but in the future point of it looking back and seeing what happened to me during this precious present of presence for surely that is where it is the value and gratitude sure in the days it happened as well especially in the morning when I would wake and stretch like the proverbial cat and throw back the covers to touch my toes to the chilly floors and plant coffee mug in hand pen on paper extolling the glories of this one thin day each day because I did have that the daily extolling and mostly in the morning but to look back at the end at the after even probably I suspect but have no proof of time yet to test it by in years gone by the long looking back I will see marvel gape in awe even maybe I suspect at the wonder of the wonder of this present of presence I gave myself that no one else could’ve given me that no one else could help me open and cherish this is what today this portion of poem thank you Billy Collins spoke to me about breaking my heart in that good softening way thank you to realize that this is such a beautiful present this presence this gravity right here now on this earth me this earthling I get to