15 October 2006

An Insignificant Moment

I remember when I was fifteen, on the family’s US coast-to-coast trip, when my dad woke me up to see the sun rising over the lake in the middle of the desert while my mom and sister were left to sleep in the car. I also remember the moment I heard the explosion in Lebanon when I was nineteen, and didn’t think much about it until I saw the helicopters and heard what happened on the radio.

Those moments one happens to remember are usually significant. But what of those other moments? What about the rest of one’s life? Well, that was the experiment I made when I was eight-years-old. I remember standing in front of the large window overlooking the field. It was early in the day and no one was outside; just a quiet empty morning of birds and sun. And I remember concentrating on my reflection in the window and trying hard to remember that moment. And I did. Later that afternoon I made a note to myself to remember standing in front of the window in the morning, and then the next morning I remembered to remember again. The rest was taking care of itself, and eventually I never forgot that non-magical, insignificant moment.

Even as a child I was proud of the way I fooled life’s tendency to pay close attention to significant moments. Maybe it was some unconscious human rage at the fleeting nature of life or even at the trivial nature of existence, or maybe it was indeed a significant moment, when I came up with my first original thought; I can’t be sure. Haven’t had too many of those.

Do it yourself and think what you want, no camera involved; no picture-a-day-for-three-years trick. Stand up and look out of the window. Try to notice the outline of your face. Look at the people outside, bearing no meaning to your own existence and your world; extras in your biographical movie. Then, remember this moment. Remember the people walking under your window, and remember the shape of the clouds, and remember your face as you take all this in and without judgment or comment watch the world for this insignificant short moment, and remember. Next, remember to remember as soon as an hour from now. Don’t worry if it seems silly. You should feel good about it because you’re fooling God or nature’s way of deciding for you what’s significant and what’s trivial. Nothing is trivial. Even an empty, quiet moment can be something you will remember for the rest of your life.


Billy said...

deep insight no doubt

CyberCelt said...

So true. I recall my life in snapshots like that.

Happy C&C Mondayl.

threecollie said...

I couldn't believe it when I stumbled upon your post while surfing Blogmad. Way back on the school about the age of eight, I decided that I would remember that instant in time for the rest of my life. I am now in my mid fifties and several times each year something will trigger that memory and I will flash back to what it was like riding a school bus at that age.

People in the Sun said...

I'm not alone!

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