We all hopefully have had them in our lives…a perfect moment. Whether it be the first time you held your child, or the first kiss with a life-long love. They are magical moments that although fleeting, stay with us forever. My blog has touched upon the seconds and minutia of everyday life, it has been a running theme in my posts if you have been with me since the beginning.
My OCD makes me obsess in the small things in my life, but I am convinced that the perfect moments are life itself, the true meaning of life. They are why we have evolved to be here in the first place. Religious people will tend to think that the moments I am talking about are devine moments, moments of true inspiration. The word “inspiration” has several different meanings, but the breath of a divine being…the intensity and purity of a moment is one way to perceive this unit of time I am writing about today. I tend to regard the moment or moments as our reward for fighting through what can most certainly be a tough existence on this earth.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not getting all mystical on your ass, nor have I started to watch Joel Osteen on Sunday mornings. I just want to express that I have these moments tucked in my jean pocket and I rely on them when times are hard. These short, cerebral films are touchstones for me, snippets of happiness, sometimes sadness, but perfectly edited. Sadness you say? Yes, sadness and sad memories can reach perfection as well. When we are sad or devastated at some point in our lives, the level of sadness equals the level of loss. For example when I am feeling sad over the loss of a loved one, what follows are moments of perfection that I shared with that person. The bitter is always followed by the sweet.
One movie I have on my DVR is , Home for the Holidays, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Holly Hunter. A grown woman goes home for Thanksgiving. The movie shows her dealing with real middle-aged problems as she comes face to face with her dysfunctional family for a holiday weekend. I have watched the movie about 12 times because of two reasons. First off, it shows me that there are other families as screwed up as the one I am in. And secondly, it shows a scene about a perfect moment at the end of the film.
The great character actor Charles Durning plays the patriarch. Toward the end of the film he is shown watching old 8mm films of his kids in the basement of his house. The Holly Hunter character joins him for a talk and he tells her of one of his pieces of perfection that he keeps in his own pocket of memories. Durning tells the story of working at the airport and one afternoon in the 60s his wife brought his 3 kids out to see where he worked. He stood close to the tarmac with his kids and watched as a jet took off, rumbling over the family. The father remembered holding tight to his kids, the squeeze of a hand, the exchange of excitement and love. Raising 3 kids, now drastically different adults, those few moments he had held onto as tightly as the small child’s hand had grasped his so long ago. Sixty seconds he guessed….approximately 30 years ago…the perfection sustained, the smile eases across his face.
As we get older we tend to pull these moments up more often, with time we increase the need because as we know, all is not perfect in this world. I write this today knowing in my heart that my best moments are in front of me, not behind me. I believe that the best day of my life has not occurred yet. How wonderful a belief that is to me, because my history has some mighty fine moments!
I will leave you with this today. If you don’t think you have enough of these mental vacations in your vault….look again. They are not all births of children, marriages, or parachute jumps. One of my moments came in May of 1981 in Oklahoma City of all places. I was 18 years old and working for my softball coach in a summer job. He owned a cookie company and I was driving a large van to OKC to deliver a load of chocolate chip cookies. After the first week of working for the company, I never wanted to eat another cookie again…I think I broke their record!
The smell of the cookies was nice though and it was wafting to the front cab of this van. I was driving down the road and I remember the song “Make Me Smile” by Chicago came on the radio. I rolled down the window and the temperature was a perfect 75 degrees, cool for May I thought. I felt like an adult in that moment doing something very adult-like. I was making my own money and in college. I had traveled to another state for the first time alone. I was my own person for the first time, you know what I mean? Sounds silly, but that cookie delivery was a benchmark for me….that moment was about 3 minutes of greatness. 3 minutes described 30 years later…..must have been friggin awesome. It was……perfection.
Go ahead, sweat the small stuff….and file the good. Your life is a motion picture and you are the editor. Cut and paste at will, do whatever it takes to get through this…enjoy the scenes.
Thank you for this.
You are welcome Doris.
It is often the little things in life that make us smile & be grateful for what we have. I can remember being in Wal-Mart thinking I can buy all six dishtowels at once if I want. I did not any longer have to buy one occasionally. It brought a smile to be & a peace in me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing with the world!
Thank you for expressing “it” so well. That elusive feeling of sublime happiness (or comfortable sadness) is so hard to capture in words. As far as I’m concerned, you nailed it.
One of my “moments”…I was 11 and and allowed to go with our neighbor, Pam Plimpton, and her mother to volunteer working with mentally challenged children. I have no memory of that day other than one Down Syndrome child holding my hand and looking up at me with this incredible look of joy on his face. Joyful perfection! I had no preconceived idea of what a mentally challenged child was at my young age, It was at that moment I recall with perfect clarity, I knew exactly what I would do with my life. I believe God gives every child a glimpse of who he made them, if they just remember that moment. Me… a nurse and former foster parent to over 73 medically fragile children. Five of which I adopted.