In The Moment
Ta Daaa!


My book of personal essays, In The Moment, is available on Amazon.com
(Be sure to include Upfront ISBN# 1-84426-028-3 when you order.)
If you prefer, I have copies I can mail to you. Feel free to call me at
212-446-8531 or e-mail gene_zelazny@mckinsey.com to order your copy.
I hope you enjoy reading the Moments of Now, Moments of Tao and Moments of Then as much as I did writing them.

In The Moment
Moment of Now

I was walking the streets of New York yesterday. I needed to pee. And so I walked into the Jewish Theological Seminary on Broadway and 121st Street..

I asked the young receptionist in the glass booth if I could use the facilities. With an embarrassed and apologetic look, she answered, "No." The silence that followed was uncomfortable..

Sitting behind her was this elderly gentleman who didn't seem to serve any purpose; he had been sitting there since 1945 to be here for me when I needed him. Our eyes met and somehow we knew we were meant to connect in one of those moments of now. Softly he told the young woman to let me sign the visitor register, that he would escort me to the bathroom..

I felt his sadness as he wrapped his arm gently around my waist. I placed my arm around his shoulder as comfortably as I would any lifelong friend. As we walked the hallway, he shared: "I really know what it means when you have to pee. I'm Jewish. I lived through the holocaust. My family was wiped out. I was in a concentration camp during the war. I remember what it means to have to wait on line to go to the bathroom. I really know what it feels like to shit in your pants.".

Sometimes, when nobody's watching, we cry. Nobody was watching.

Moment of Tao

I lost one of my winter gloves. I thought I had both of them as I came in the house from the car carrying the mail and groceries..

I sent Frantic-ness to look for it: Where dahell did it go? I search coat pockets, left, right. I search jacket pockets, left, right. I search pants pockets, left, right. I search mail. I search grocery bag.
Frantic-ness doesn't have it..

I sent Logic to look for it: It makes sense that I would have left it in the car. I search driver's seat, front, back, left, right. I search passenger seat, front, back, left, right. I search under the seat, font, back. I search path from car to house to mail to grocery bag.
Logic doesn't have it..

I sent Analysis to look for it: Let's see: I remember wearing them this morning from the parking lot to the train, and from the train to the office. I remember wearing them this evening from the office to the train. Perhaps I left it on the seat of the train as I took it off to read. Maybe I left it in the grocery store on the way home.
Analysis doesn't have it..

I sent the Tao to look for it. Twenty minutes later, the Tao found it.

Moment of Then

As I think back on my years in the Air Force, and as I think how you thought it was the wrong thing to do, it turned out that it was time superbly well wasted.

What proved to be genuinely meaningful was the transition from basic training to what was going to be my home base for the remainder of my service years: the 35th Communication Squadron, Hamilton AFB. The base was a half hour drive north of San Francisco..

I landed in San Francisco with everything I owned in the world in my duffel bag. Nobody, that's N O B O D Y, knew where I was, and where I was, I was a total stranger. I didn't know what was waiting for me where I was going; it was a nowhere that appealed to me because of that. The beauty of not knowing where I was going was that anywhere I would have gone would have been where I was going. I never felt so free.

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