Sunday, March 14, 2010

Capturing A Moment

I was writing (or, rather, attempting to write) a piece of music this evening. Don't get excited or anything, it isn't showing up here. But it got me thinking (as I tend to do at any and all inappropriate moments) about exactly what I was trying to do.

You see, I had a feeling. It was a feeling I was trying to itemize and pin down with dozens of tiny noteheads on a piece of staff paper. It was the feeling of a moment. The memory of a moment, really. And I was trying to capture it. And as I shifted from chord to chord piecing notes together, I realized that somehow, the moment wasn't there.

How the hell do you capture a moment?

Is it in the photograph of a happy smiling couple? Is it in a sonnet, strung out in clever rhymes? Is it in a song with a soft, wandering piano solo? Is it in a book, pressed like a flower between the pages? Is it in a diary, hidden away with all the other secrets?

I am always trying in vain to hang onto moments of my life that matter to me, but as I look back through the photos and the poems and the writing, the feeling behind it just isn't there anymore.

It finally struck me that nearly all of the most important and most meaningful moments of my life were never captured in any sort of song, or photograph, or diary. The memories I cling to the most exist only in my mind. It's the memories that I conjure up that still make my heart swell, or make me laugh or cry. I can play the moments back in my head exactly as they happened, if only as shadows of what they once were. But they're fleeting.

I wish that I could pull snapshots from my memories, or write down the soundtrack I hear playing in my head in these moments. I wish that I could find words that adequately describe the feelings of those moments in all their complicated, but delightful glory.

But I can't.

And maybe I'm not supposed to. Maybe I'm supposed to cherish those moments, not immortalize them. Maybe I'm supposed to live in those moments when they come. Maybe if I focus too much on trying to capture the moment, I'm actually missing it.

Do you have a moment you wish you could recreate? Do you have a memory you wish you could immortalize?


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