Here and Now

The here and the now are compelling destinations. People want to feel like they’re part of what’s happening now. They want to feel like now is happening where they are.

Stripe Checkout features animations to communicate what the product is doing. They’re subtle but the product feels incomplete without them. These animations pull you into the present moment. You don’t have to wait for you text message to arrive, the product is waiting with you. It puts you here and now rather than disconnecting from you.

Music is the sound of here and now. The harder you listen, the more there is to hear. Great artists don’t stop if they play the wrong note or sing the wrong word. They lead into the charge into the present moment. In turn, the audience idolizes the artist, putting them on a stage under all the lights. Sometimes it feels like you could follow them forever.

Surfers ride on the crest of a wave, an incredibly fleeting moment where the past meets the future. Often it’s a perilous place. Disconnect for even a split second and you’re buried under a mountain of water. The practice of the present requires tremendous focus.

We relax in places where here and now appear to slow down. By removing indicators that time is elapsing, it can feel like a moment lasts forever. On the beach, the sun appears to be hung high in the sky. The constant crash of the waves act like a metronome setting the pace. Even here, just an empty cocktail on the beach nudge our attention out of the now and onto what’s next.

Of course, the ultimate irony is that the present tense is always available. Many people put it in front of them. Others claim it’s behind them. There’s always a here and now to tap into. In fact, that may be all there is.

Thanks for reading! I'm Avand.

I am a full-stack software engineer, product designer, and teacher. I’ve been working on the web for over a decade and am passionate about building great products.

I currently work at Airbnb, where I help internal product teams stay abreast with customer feedback. Before that, I was at Mystery Science, transforming how elementary school teachers teach science. And since 2013, I’ve worked on-and-off with General Assembly, teaching aspiring developers what I know about front-end web development.

I was born in Boston, grew up in Salt Lake City, and spent many years living in Chicago. Now, I call San Francisco my home.

I’m an aspiring rock climber. I have a love affair with music and cars, especially vintage BMWs and Volkswagens. One day, I’ll buy a van and transform it into an offroad-capable camping rig.

But that’s enough about me. How can I help you?

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