And perhaps wilder than that is how little time they spend in the now. Hours, or more, in anticipation. Anxious for what is to come. Excited. Hopeful. Or even drenched in dread. Much time is spent waiting for these moments to arrive. A personal quest for Godot.
And soaking up most of what remains of your time will likely be recalling those moments which have passed. If us beasts be even capable of such a thing- possessing time.
Either waiting for them to come or watching as they fall further back in our story- we live our lives for a varied series of moments. And those such moments which tend to make foundations for beliefs and ideas are not the ones we saw coming. For who could gather a thought during such spectacular or horrific instances? Who can pay attention when falling in love? When getting into a car wreck? When being born? When watching someone die?
These large events that mold us, they can elude us when occurring. We can look forward to how something might go, but I can quite comfortably say that if something goes the way you exactly hope it would… you would hardly remember. For worse or better.
And of course, once something has fled from the present, we doom ourselves to reflect upon it. Thinking back on sunny days and disasters. Thinking of what was or might have been. A frozen echo, always rippling away from us. Highlighted and faded by the romance of memory. Making mountains of molehills, or psychotic episodes from tiny disappointments. For we shall never live those days again.
I know, I know… you were almost sure it was her. But it wasn’t. And even if it was, it would never be the primary instance again. For she is elsewhere and unlikely to be the same upon return. And you are different, too. Those souls have grown. Or decayed. Changed.
Remembrance does seem to be how we measure worth. For after it is all forgotten, no proof can be made that it ever existed. And the stronger in our memory, the more force it has on our soon to be actions i.e. first heartbreak, death of a parent, birth of child, first trip in some land abroad, etc. Such moments influence our personal futures.
How we recall the moments gone shows us how much they matter. And whether that be intentional, divine or psychotic- those that are remembered with little to no effort are the ones that matter most.
I had some time to think about how our moments mold perspective. I participated in something that has become habitual for me. An annual voyage, as I have now gone to the same event three years in a row. And each one, though made up of very similar parts, has been different. It’s a music festival. Dirty hippie sort of stuff. Good for the soul. Good music. Good people, generally. That sort of thing.
The first year was to lose my mind for a moment. The second was to learn how to enjoy myself, again. Something that evolved towards the heart, at least for a moment. And something that inspired beyond just that weekend.
And this year, I suppose, was about better understanding the self.
‘Twas last year I was both taught and reminded that no partner is needed to dance. Hell, you don’t even need music anywhere outside of your noggin. If you so choose. And even though I had another body to dance with, I held to the importance of dancing alone. So, when the urge struck this year, I responded to whatever music I heard with however I felt. Examples being dance, sing, shout or general savagery. Those who I knew or met there seemed to all be paired of into romances, aside from two solo souls seeking something a bit more visceral. Leaving me a bit of the odd man out. Something others might dread, but I didn’t mind much at all. Though this did leave me with a desire and ability for introspection. So, as you could imagine, I indulged.
I recall (during a slower and sad Sturgill Simpson song) flipping through the pages of moments past. The faces of the women I’ve loved. Their laughter. Their touch. Their tears. I thought of all I have done and wished I would have. The people gone, either out of my life or out of this existence. I thought of the words I have said. And those said to me. Sweet sayings of adoration, or vulgar expressions of discontent.
The stars were more visible than they are where I live. The music vibrated through the whole of my body as I tried to place myself spinning about this local galaxy. And you only need a solid bass and a grassy hill for that. Though some folks like to take psychedelics.
I thought of my life, as best I could. And though anxiety would waver in and out, I feel I emerged as something better. And looking back, I suppose that was the moment. Something simple, and perhaps, exactly what I needed. Just to press my back flat against the hill, as rhythmically spaced sound waves wash even over my body. As my eyes fix celestial, thinking of how lucky a shaved ape could be on this spinning rock. Holding myself against the cold, spring night and not being bothered by loneliness.
Not all moments have to be grandiose. It is often the simplicity of something that we never see coming.