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NowJune 20, 2013

I just got my third tattoo. Actually, it's my fourth, but one was covered up. This one is on the inside of my arm, just below my elbow. 

It's based on this drawing I made: 


When I was a kid, I used to draw words like this. I'd write my name in cursive and then mirror it (folding, rubbing with pencil, and redrawing) and marvel that my name was unrecognizable and so beautiful, disguised that way. 

The word NOW is gorgeous in the same way. 


See it now

Photo on 6-20-13 at 5.55 PM
Backwards, and shiny because under saran wrap still but you get the idea.

It's kind of my own secret, since I hid it on the underside of my arm, so if my arm is against my side, you can't see it even in short sleeves. But when I write, I can glance down and read the word, in my own handwriting, in purple (like the best kind of fountain pen ink).


I've been thinking a lot about that word, trying to keep it in my mind. I don't live in yesterday (though I always think it would be nice to--I have a lot of great memories in the old mental Rolodex that don't get flipped through as often as I'd like to) but I have a real problem with that whole What's happening next thing. I can be truly, deeply, and spiritually loving the bacon and eggs that Lala's fixed me in the morning and be wondering at the same time what would be good for lunch. Or worse, dinner. Instead of sitting there, enjoying the bacony goodness. 

Now is now. 

It's the silliest, most simple thing, but it's HUGE. It's all, perhaps. Where you are sitting (because I bet you're seated) right now is the only moment you're sure of. Are you comfortable? Do you, like me, have the remains of a perfect peach to your left? Is it too hot where you are? Too cold? How does your body feel? Are you listening to music? Maybe you're stealing time away from work to cruise blogs (good for you). Are you hungry? Maybe, just for a minute, look around and be amazed that you are where you are. Right now.

Me: I have the desk fan pointed on me because I'm hot (as usual). Outside, the sprinkler is going because I finally remembered to turn it on (our grass is browning). There's a kid playing in it, washing off a tennis ball. He's sweet, about five, maybe. I don't know his name, but we're pals. From the kitchen on the other side of the house, I can hear The Lone Bellow, the album I put on to make dinner to. A dog is snoring in the living room. 

Now is now. Now is pretty fucking awesome. 

I think it's hitting me more today because I just got the tattoo, but it's been joyously lovely to keep in mind. After I went to the grocery store, I was driving home in heavy, slow traffic on 580. A 50s pickup truck was broken down in the left hand shoulder. Half a mile ahead, a man walked right next to the fast lane (which I was in). The top of the SmartCar and the windows were down, so as I passed him, I said, "Want a ride?" 

You should have seen his face. When he woke up that morning, he hadn't planned on riding in SmartCar, I could tell. But how on earth was he going to cross five lanes of heavy traffic without getting smooshed like a bug? He said he'd been wondering that himself. And as I made my way to the right lane, to the exit that would take us to a gas station where I could drop him off, as we chatted about the truck (that he had just bought, poor guy), we were both kind of astounded as to where we suddenly found ourselves, I think. I'd been alone in my car a few seconds before, with no intention of picking up a stranger. He'd been trudging down the road, stuck on the wrong side of a river of traffic. 

Suddenly we were both in the car, music playing, laughing. It was a lovely, lovely moment that didn't even last three minutes. When I got back on the freeway, I entered right behind the car I'd been behind originally (that's how bad traffic was). And I hadn't helped the guy out in any substantial way -- he still had to deal with a broken-down truck on the freeway. But I'd helped for a few seconds, and we'd had fun. 

And now? Now I'm going to brine some chicken and then go sit on the porch with a glass of wine and my book. It's a gorgeous night. I hope you're enjoying the now, my ducks. Love. 

Photo on 6-20-13 at 6.12 PM #2
Clara approves. 


OMG I just looked for the "like" button... I love your attitude! Be here now. :)

Yay! first comment! Also I agree 200%. Such a struggle for me, but I so love the Buddhist teachings about being present. It really IS everything, isn't it? Maybe I need a similar tattoo to remind myself.

Love it. I've been toying with the idea of new ink myself lately....

I love your tattoo!!! Now is a great time

Love. And a good interaction with a neighbor of sorts. Traffic neighbors are neighbors, yeah!

I love it, love it, love it.

I love the tattoo and message because YES, NOW is the time to enjoy life fully and as much as we possibly can.

No putting things off, NOW is the time to live and squeeze as much joy as we can from the moment.

Not sure I am brave enough for a tat but thinking I need a bracelet or ring that sends the message home. Daily :)

(Mind you that tattoo is rather beautiful...;) Heh, might be a tattoo or three in my future.

Oh my gosh, good for you! Your good deed.
Trying to be present in the moment, trying to ignore that insistant little voice in our heads, is not an easy thing.
I have to say, in my new "normal" lately(thank you), I am so much more in to what is around me and how I'm feeling. Even sitting outside with a glass of wine is a beautiful thing. I read Be Here Now years ago. Yeah, duh. But when we get caught up in our lives we forget.
So happy that you had such an awesome day!

Love it. Awesome tattoo and I love it's message.

I have trouble remembering this so often, but it's really really really Important. I jsut finished reading Cyndi Lee's book too, and I dunno, it feels like the seeing the same thing over and over again once you notice it once. Many messages to be here now.

Lovely tattoo. I think it is even more difficult for me to stay in the now with the advent of the internet and social networking. I remember being in row 10 when the Broadway touring company of "Hairspray" came to our city, and the top thought was how I finally had something worth blogging about. Of course, I enjoyed that production so much that if I had stayed in the now I probably would have cried from the overwhelming pleasure of it all!

Yes, this is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thx. And I read Every One of your posts, even though I rarely comment.

Oh you sweet pea! Now i think you are a ray of sunshine in a cranky old world.

The "Now" is why I knit.
I can't think about the past or the future when I knit.
The yarn. The needles. The moment.
If I get cocky and think I can multitask and think of other things while knitting, I get to remind myself this is why I have become a professional quality frogger while I rip out all that distracted knitting.
Perhaps I should remind myself of at least that before I begin knitting.
Nothing like having to rip back a few rows without losing stitches to keep you in the Now.
Knitting is my mental vacation. It is the quietest my brain gets to be. Keep the body breathing and the needles clicking.
Knitting gives me the gift of the Present.

Thank you so much for that message. Right now I am sitting at my desk, listening to the birds and feeling the chilly (!) breeze through the open window next to me. It's still early here, but the sun is up and its rays are lighting up the creek and the green canopy outside. Work is staring me in the face, but right now I am enjoying even the coldness of my toes, as it is supposed to be hot this weekend and the ac will have to come on. But right now, life is glorious.

The only thing that could make it even better is a pair of slippers, and the first cup of coffee of the day...

Great post. I definitely need to work on living in the present instead of obsessing about the future. Going to put this concept into play next week when i will be watching a barry manilow concert from fourth row center. I have wanted to sit down front since i was a teen so its a huge big deal for me. I want to make sure i enjoy every single second. Its an opportunity that wont come again.

Thank you. A reminder I need right now.

you are a nice person, can't wait for you next book, and by the way the tat is cool, im to scared to get one but cool on you!

What Kirsten said!

I love it!

Love the mirrored word and tattoo in purple. I had a great day recently, saved 2 kittens abandoned on the road. Didn't plan to do that, but I couldn't leave them. Felt awesome all week. I'm glad you rescued the guy. Pay it forward :-)

Great tattoo! What a beautiful way to have such a meaningful reminder at all times.

I love this!
Now to play with words - like "hope" -

Rachel~ this is so AWESOME! Just dropped what I was doing and started doodling. Have been thinking about a tattoo for a long time. Just couldn't decide what to do. Thanks so much for pointing out that we all need to be in the NOW!

Rachel - you rock!!

Why is it that few of us can remember to live in the "now"? It is harder than it sounds. I'm not a big fan of tattoos, but this is one of the best I've ever seen.


Living in the "now" is truly a remarkable experience. For me the experience is much like meditation, once you really get there, to the ahhhhh moment, that slippery eel called tomorrow slides in and I lose my grip on the, "in your face, this is it, right now". What I have figured out is that living in the "now", not only gives me an amazing awareness of all life, it changes tomorrow! NOW! Love it........its all we really have...

Fun! Thx for sharing! Love the scrolls & what a neat idea! <3

I'm not a big fan of "now" at this particular place in my life, but I love that tattoo and will commence savoring the "now" in about a month :)

Love your blogs. Really needed to hear this right now. Like that backwards it's won. As in already done. Who you are meant to be and what you are meant to do....

I love this! And your highway story!

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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