I love moments.
I mean, I love God and people and animals and, well, life.
But moments, moments are really special. You know what I mean by moments, right? Those little points on your journey when you just stop and say, for who-knows-what reason, "Whoa!" maybe silently or maybe aloud.
Maybe it's a smell, a sight, a sound, a feeling, or a thought. You may not even know what it is, but it's just beautiful.
That's why I'm a writer and a photographer. I want to catch all the moments in my life.
Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't.
And sometimes I can't.
I'm learning to accept those times when I can't catch something.
A few weeks ago, I had one of those moments and I wanted to catch it. I wanted to catch it so bad. I tried to make an essay out of it, but I just said too much. I covered it up with my finite words.
I tried to make a poem out of it, but I couldn't say enough. I tried to make another poem out of it.
I tried to make another poem out of it.
But it was something secret and sacred. Something too sacred for human language.
And it hasn't died. It's stayed with me despite the fact that I can't contain it in any of my usual cages.
Ever since I got my first camera at twelve, maybe even eleven, I've been taking pictures. It's crazy, the number of pictures I have stored up, whether in print from that old film camera, or on memory cards that pop up in the weirdest places in my house.
I compulsively take pictures. In high school I was so bad about it that if I went anywhere without my camera, the good time was ruined for me a little bit. Ha. Let's not shield you from the truth. I'm still that way.
No. Really. I'm serious.
But now I'm learning that there are times when you can't capture the moment, so you savor it while it's there and let it slip away in the natural course of things, knowing another will come.
Last night I was driving home around eleven and I caught a glimpse of the moon. The moon in a gown of Spanish Lace* with a glass slipper named Jupiter peeking out from under the hem.
I raced down my road at forty miles an hour, breakneck speed for that terrain, (refer to the last picture in this post if you don't believe me) hoping against hope that the clouds would stay put.
They did stay put, but there was no way I could capture the fullness of what I saw, even with the widest of wide-angle lenses.
This morning I was walking across campus to work. I was a little late, so the 8:00 rush of students trying to get to class was over and I was practically by myself. There was a slight nip in the air and people hadn't yet had time to drop skittles wrappers or Sprite bottles or popcorn bags on the steps to my building. The only sound was the clip clip clip of a woman's heels as she crossed the paved "courtyard."
My first thought was "I wish I had my camera."
But what would I have taken a picture of? You couldn't have seen the cold air in the picture.
My words right now can't convey to you the lovely sterility of the early morning quiet. The hush after the first storm of students.
And I knew that.
I knew it as I stood still and listened and breathed deep and smiled like a fool at nothing in particular and just absorbed without scrambling to save anything.
*Don't you love that phrase "a gown of Spanish Lace?" So do I. I wish I could say I came up with it on my own. But I didn't. It was Janette Oke's first. It's the title of a book I've never read.
2 years ago