Live The Moment – Again

Live the Moment is the title of a book I keep coming back to. My copy is actually signed by the author, Paul Arnott: “to Dorothy”. I bought it quite a few years back when I attended a talk he gave. Although Dorothy was by then not able to read and understand it, I asked Paul to inscribe it that way, and it has been one of my ‘go to’ books on many occasions since. It’s the sort of book that you will read all the way through but also, at a later time, pick it up and read a piece at random wherever it opens, and find something positive, especially when you are feeling down.

Its not a big book, and it’s neither full of unintelligible words nor strange and unfathomable psychological constructs. It’s sprinkled with real-life experiences and Paul’s insights with plain talk; it’s about solutions rather than symptoms, answers rather than abstract remedies.

You may remember Paul Arnott as an ABC broadcaster, back in the nineteen eighties, or later perhaps, as an Anglican minister. As well, he is a man who has known personal grief at the raw level himself, having had a child die at a young age; so he can write with integrity and a reader can feel comfortable and comforted in his narrative. The back cover of the book has some words from a formerly well-known public, sometimes bitingly controversial, public commentator and writer, Phillip Adams, who writes: “We need to learn to live more fully in the moment, if we don’t, we won’t stay sane in the face of this increasingly complex, troublesome world of ours”. How prescient is that in today’s coronavirus world! And he goes on to say: “Paul Arnott’s book may help you realise that life is like living the lotto, 365 days a year”. I see that Tim Costello wrote the foreword in a later edition.

These days, the term ‘mindfulness’ also resonates with this theme and I suggest you check out this little paperback on the internet and local library. Although my copy is one of the earlier editions it’s just as relevant today as when it was written. You can also discover more about the author on the internet, too, and some of his other books. Sure, Paul Arnott makes no bones about his beliefs in Jesus or the strength of a Christian spirituality but, even if you are not a believer, I don’t think you will find that aspect confronting or off-putting. On the contrary, I think you will, as I do, find his words inspirational and a joy to read, any time, at any moment!