in a moment


This post is something of a follow-up to the previous one, on record.

I don’t think any of us truly appreciate how much weight a moment carries. Or maybe I’m the only one and the rest of y’all got it figured out but aren’t telling me. Hey, fess up already will ya?

We often repeat phrases of encouragement like, “live in the moment,” or, “be in the moment,” or the classic, “carpe diem,” which, shockingly, has little to do with fish or ten cent coins.

And I like all that stuff, I really do, but how to live it isn’t always clear to me. Moments and days aren’t easy to lay hold of. Time itself is tricky; it keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.

But hey, we’re talking about just a moment here. A fraction of time so small it’s hard to measure. Surely that can’t be so hard to grasp. And moments are so plentiful, like a bucket stuffed with fish, they should be a cinch to snatch.

Could be it’s because there are so many of them, we forget their value. And what do you do with it once you’ve got it anyways? I mean, it’s all wet and slapping you in the face now! The fish, I mean.

Maybe moments are more like a giant stream full o’ fish just swimming on by. Sure, you can get a few in a net, you can try to capture those precious moments, but, unlike pokemon, there’s no way you can catch them all.

Yes, moments are important, but does each hold the same weight? It doesn’t seem that way. But I do think every moment, even the most mundane, holds the great potential.

One decision can be made in a moment which entirely changes the course of your life. You might choose to quit your job, move, forgive someone, take up drinking, quit drinking, run away, get married, or even join the rotary club. A reputation may be destroyed in a split-second decision.

And unexpected things can happen in just a moment, ground-breaking, earth-shaking things. There is a magic to the moment.

Moments are plentiful, powerful, and unappreciated.

I might never be able to hold every moment sacred while also releasing it to allow time for the next. Still, I do try to pause now and then, just to take things in—to take a breath and notice where I am, to enjoy people I'm with, and to just be thankful for it all.

Once I have it all figured out, I’ll let you know, momentarily.

on record


My wife and I went to see a musical artist we enjoy, Josh Garrels, in concert recently. It’s the first concert we’d been to in a while. Such is the life of parents, but it makes me appreciate those rare events all the more. 

While we sat there, Josh’s angelic voice and the instrumental accompaniment of the other band members washed over us in waves of splendor. 

The sounds, the ideas expressed in just such a way, left us deeply moved. Many of his words and themes resonated with places and attitudes very familiar to us, especially those related to the concept of home.

Altogether, it created an experience which could not have been captured and replayed even with the best recording instruments. 

Yes, just about everyone has a phone now with a camera and mic built in. Yes, there have been some excellent live band recordings made into albums. And yes, Josh will play again at other venues, perhaps even the exact same songs in the exact same order. 

But none of it will be exactly like being there in that room at that time with those particular people. It will never be the same again, no matter how we may try to duplicate it. Same goes for any performance, musical or otherwise.

The magic of the moment is a special thing.

It reminded me of something I heard on the tech podcast, Note to Self. 

Study has shown that the more time spent taking pictures during an event, the less will be remembered later about the event itself. By taking photos instead of participating, you remove yourself from actually being there. You miss out.

I wonder how often this happens, in an attempt to capture the moment, we instead lose the ability to really enjoy the moment at all. Something to think about …

Anyhow, I did take a few pictures before and a very short video during, but for the majority of the time I just sat there, taking it all in. This is something I’ve been working on improving: worrying less about the recording and concerning myself more with just being present. 

I believe, as creatives, this can take us a long way toward inspiration and appreciation. 

Instead of trying to capture the moment, why not let it run free in its pure, wild form? I’ll have more thoughts on that later.

What do you think? Do you feel the need to capture the moment to be recalled and enjoyed later or do you set the phone down and open your ears and eyes to behold the beauty before you? Perhaps something in between?