It seems to me that life has both a script and a soundtrack.
As a general rule, we find that we are moved by certain films because they feel like the home run by the underdog: they knock it out of the park. The crowd goes wild. The stands erupt with cheering fans; strangers hug one another and feel deeply gripped to throw their ball caps into the air.
The moments are epic, and yet we relate because we’ve felt those same game-winning hits and the gut-wrenching losses on some scale. It seems like the opposite of “don’t sweat the small stuff” The films that make our hearts drop and cause us to gulp… they’re the ones that sweat every. single. little. detail.
Those same epic, monumental, inconsequential and ordinary moments that take my breath away often make me feel like I’m standing right in the middle of the busiest street on earth as cars whip by me, lights blazing and horns blaring while I try to focus on my hand in front of my face.
Or maybe I’m standing on the porch as the clouds roll in and the storm’s intensity becomes unbearable, but I want to run out into the street to feel the raindrops landing giant on my tongue, the electricity coursing through the air and the hair standing up on my arms, humidity and feeling chilled to the bone all in the very same moment.
Maybe it’s more like that sensation that the first fireflies of summer have arrived all in that one moment – like they always do, and then they surround us – and the heat of summer is intense and the roses are blooming but also slowly turning brown and the sound of the crickets rubbing their legs together drowns out the comment from the person seated right next to us.
Here we find ourselves, right in the tumultuous center of our lives with the storyline rising epic and fading quotidian around us. The music swells and dips, the wind soars and stills. We look at one another and we think we’ll never forget how the ones we love look in this moment, and then it passes and we try desperately to grab it and bring it back, but it’s gone and we have to console ourselves with waiting for the next one.
Some mornings we wake up and thrash around, trying to decide whether the fleeting thoughts are remnants of a dream or the very basic and essential bits that weave together to make up the plot line of our everyday.
It’s all so fast and so slow that I can’t even process it or catch my breath before it passes, and yet each moment seems frozen before my eyes like a 1970s slideshow. Each still frame moment is highlighted and pauses on the screen for what seems like forever before the next scene pops up just as vividly. “Go back!” I shout at the slideshow operator desperately, “I want to see that one again.”
But there are SO many slides, so many scenes, so many moments. There are too many slides, too many filed away and labeled (or not) memories. We have to keep shuffling through them if we want to see them all. We have no choice but to keep moving forward, even when we want to just drown in the moment at hand.