To write a story about your childhood is a complex balance of the real, the non-real and the surreal: It is a place where memory and imagination both vie for an elevated place in the pages of the book.

I decided to take a new look at the past. In doing so I have attempted to create an open-ended piece of prose about the past. I want to shed some light on my ‘inner clearing’, the inner me, which has endured the encroachments of time. To do this I have decided to intuitively look at things from afresh – from the ‘Now’ perspective of their current existence.

The ‘Now’ is a vibrant state of being. It is an incredible condensation of feeling, thinking, and doing right at this precise moment in time; it is an accumulation of everything that has ever happened to me; it is an intensely intricate energy pattern that I find myself in; it is my potential to meet my next experiential moment in full preparedness; it tells me that it is the ‘everything’ that I have, and that the more consciously aware I am of it, the more successful I will be. The thought of its unique role in my life makes my heart miss a beat. I am writing in the now.

I have taken the past, and cast it into the present moment of my current musings, which I like to call the present moment – the ‘Now.’ I have turned ‘now’ from being an adverb into a proper noun. For me the ‘Now’ has a note of energetic urgency and importance that the word the ‘present’ doesn’t have. The present sounds like a casually unsolicited gift that is thrust into my lap whether I care for it or not. Whereas the ‘Now’ has so much more charisma. That is why I have chosen it to be a surround time reality show host; the ‘Now’ will artfully introduce a liberated past to a virginal present moment – all in the anticipation of an excitingly unknown outcome that is about to crystallise out of the folds of present moment spontaneity. I am bringing my past and present together to view them within a three hundred and sixty degree panorama where they have equal temporal importance in what I call surround time. Surround time is my vaudeville theatre where everything is viewed with spatial equanimity. Where all things of the past appear as fresh and free as the present when beheld outside of history’s linear-thinking line of fire. There is no beginning and no end; things turn a full circle of equal importance in an uncanny synchronised manner.

Even though it was my past that laid the building blocks for my present, it is the present that wants to tell the past’s story. I wish to stop any such notions of superiority. Both are of equal importance. I am not reviewing the shrapnel of my time gone by as a chronological documentary. Instead I am subjecting myself to raw imagery from all sides of the clearing; from the past, the present and the in-between. In surround time, I am looking at the freshly scripted events of a combined ‘now’ and ‘then’ reality show. A well-worn past, my child’s ‘then’, is being invited along to take part in a brand new production. Any fame it is likely to receive will be dished out along with and because of its current co-star, the present moment. I don’t know what is going to happen; that is the great attraction of a reality show. Together my past and present make up the gestalt, the total picture that is unfolding on the set in front of me. I am excited. Past events of the ‘then’ are likely to be seen in the fresh new light of the ‘Now’.

My writing is living in a timeless world where my past child’s events are free to spill their truth without the measure of time and consequence.

They say that the only creative moment of our lives is in the Now. The Now is a timeless place – it is as yet unscripted in time. It is where magic and miracles have power over, and above, measured real time. Sometimes we mistakenly call our timeline our life. This is not true. Life is our awareness. Time is only one facet of our awareness; and the miracles that we are searching for emanate from the source of our awareness – not from time.

Using surround time, I wish to create a sense of all-time ‘Now’, which will give my past a rebirth. I want to catch a glimpse of my all-time inner being.

“The African snake eagle drops its tortoise prey from a dizzy height to crack open its tough carapace and scatter its warm innards.

Surround time dashes my singular time-crafted past individuality, my life’s assumed self-importance, be it of self-pity or pride, upon the rocks of a timeless eternity.

It ejects my inner being out of its time capsule of claustrophobic conformity and severs the linear regressions of the past: Its sole intention being to re-shuffle the cause and effect sequences of my life events.”

Surround time is an ambitious attempt to return to the nirvana of timelessness, where everything can be seen clearly: as one miraculous whole within the sanctity of timelessness.

Allan Taylor, Luanshya musings.