I’ve been having a lot of moments lately—moments that I’m fully aware of as they pass before my eyes, whisper in my ear and brush past my skin while they make their way in front of me, beside me and then behind me as they pass on so fast I can’t see them when I turn around. They are quiet moments, almost undetectable. I’m sitting at work in the early evening, and the sunlight on the pavement is golden; the breeze is subtle, pushing a tree’s branches against a utility pole just beyond our garage doors. I’m walking outside, and I hear laughter from a group of friends sitting out on their front stoop. I’m caught in the headlights of an Indiana sunset, and I can’t muster a single word to encapsulate the sky before me.
These moments are full— they’re bursting with life, beauty, and a reminder that good still exists in the world. But in these moments, sadness creeps into the crevices of my heart, because these moments are fleeting, and I can’t hold onto them long enough to craft them into a story, a poem, or even a photograph. I think to myself, “I’m a writer! I should be able to replicate every sense that I’m feeling. I should be able to close my eyes and make these moments reappear in front of me.” But I can’t. At least not fully. And I’m beginning to understand that this inability isn’t a curse, and it’s not an inconvenient dose of “writer’s block”. It’s a gift. These moments are for me to live— to breathe, to touch, to store in my mind for when I need them the most; they’re not for me to steal, to grab out of my reality and push into a Word document or a camera lens. I’ve found that attempting to capture these moments only hinders my ability to experience them, to truly live in the seconds that comprise these inexplicable, rare moments. Maybe one day these moments will become something more, but for now, they’re exactly what I need them to be.
These moments have me wondering if maybe we should spend less time groaning in front of our computer screens and pads of paper, trying to recreate the moments that we hold onto in hopes of making them tangible. Maybe we should close our laptop lids, put our pencils away, and preserve these moments before we view them as failures instead of the glimmers of pure beauty that they truly are.
There are moments for capturing, and there are moments for living; there are moments for both.
Know when to earnestly live in moments.
Know when to capture them and share them with the world.
Protect these fine moments.