He passed me his phone with a world map pulled up next to an article. The article detailed that because of the extreme of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, most countries are not allowing citizens from America into its lands. While we were not planning a trip out of the country, this made me think about the preciousness of now, of gratitude, and how quickly moments become memories.
How often do we stop to enjoy the minutes in front of us, before rushing on to the next something?
Fun Fact: I take a lot of pictures on vacation, but I rarely post them to social media when they were taken. Sometimes, I may not post photos at all on that day.
I started this practice after realizing how much I was missing with my head down. My husband would say stuff like, “did you see that deer?” No. I didn’t. I was uploading photos to Facebook.
I kept taking lots of pictures and sharing them, but not before enjoying the moment in front of me first. It has made all the difference. I can still taste the sweetness of the oranges we picked from the orange trees in Spain and smell the delicate fragrance of the lemons we picked from the lemon trees. And I can still remember the moment my husband snapped this picture, capturing forever a time I am not sure will ever return.
I do not know if the world is going back to what we considered normal, and I am not sure when we will travel again. But, I know that I will keep taking pictures and capturing moments because today is here; living and waiting to be filled. This second. This minute. This single hour. This unprecedented time. This precious right now that will undoubtedly become history. How does it feel to live history? Will we remember? What will we make of these moments before they become memories? What will we do with all these precious hours in front of us before they are gone?
That amazing future and glorious tomorrow. Always enticing us to move time forward so that we may rush what is now for a moment much more beautiful than this. A tomorrow much more gorgeous and radiant than the present. The present. What of this? What of now? What of our quest for some rare and perfect tomorrow when today is already a precious gift? Today is normal but it is here and living and present. We know not what the future holds. In fact, we know nothing but now. This moment. This treasure of breath in mouth. Today is good.
Don’t waste it today. Don’t waste your time or hold back your goodness. Do not withdraw your kindness or take for granted the gratitude you can gift to someone else. Gift someone today. Crown them with hope and courtesy. Who knows which of us will be called back to the dirt. Whose breath will leave their lungs to be stored away in the chamber where breaths are. Whose body will melt back into the dirt? Whose bones will become the home of carcasses that roam the cemeteries? We are told to live every day like it is our last. But how? How do we take what is cliché and make it real? Think of moments. How they live for only seconds at a time. Think of pictures. How they capture those moments when they become memories. Don’t gamble with your life today. Enjoy the warm weather, accept the truth for what it is, and apologize. Apologize and forgive like a well of “I’m Sorry’s” that won’t run dry anytime soon. Be not held captive by anything or anyone. Do not enslave yourself to pain and emotion and sorrow. Always be forgiving. If only because it makes no sense to give us flowers when we’re gone. Do not weep for me, or throw arms around caskets that could have hugged my flesh when breath stopped the skin from melting back into the earth. Don’t waste it today. Don’t waste your time or hold back your goodness from those who need it. You don’t know if today is their day or if it is yours. Because moments only live for seconds at a time and soon they become memories.
To this day, I find it to be one of the most thought provoking questions I’ve heard.
It’s good to take moments to evaluate how your life is going. You need to ask yourself constantly if you are truly living or just merely existing. Many people have found themselves more in the category of existing, rather than living, and sometimes, once they realize it, it’s too late to turn back.
I have existed in this world for a long time. I would talk about my dreams and goals and everything I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted it to play out. I had a great life on paper, but when I asked myself what I was doing to actually live that life? Nothing. In order to truly enjoy life, you have…
This picture is so me right now! The excitement of writing a book. The point where you can think of nothing else but it. Way before the technicalities, the editing, the book cover design, formatting, marketing, promotion and all of the important stuff you will eventually get to. But not now. Now is the most important time, the moment of taking this energy by the reins and using it fully. Don’t wait until the thrill is gone and floating somewhere in outer space, do it now. Yes, now, write. Always write when you feel the urge to, it means something powerful is about to emerge. So it is at this moment that I fill my heart with the excitement of finishing the sequel to Stella, a short story that is not yet available even though the continuation is in my head yearning to jump from my frontal lobe and onto the page. I can hardly keep still these days, my mind too cluttered by the chit chatter of people in my head. The not yet visible personalities of characters hoping to acquire personalities before the next stage of their existence. Even though many of them are miserable because I do after all control their world. It is for me to speak their flesh into existence and fill their mind with lives they have never lived. To give them careers they have only dreamed of. But I will not leave them desolate. Instead I breathe intellect into the nostrils of characters so that they are not merely walking stick men, but they are people too. They live in places made of brick and mortar, smell the scent of cheese pizza while walking down a Chicago street, and intersect their toes into the Mississippi dirt. Their experiences then are not make-believe; their choices have actually been made before in some distant biography of people I do not know. And their faces are inscribed from my memory bank. I’ve seen this nose before and that attitude is as close as a High School friend. These people do not know it yet, but their shoes are lined with the imprint of humanity already. If I could, I may just foresee the manifestation of their existence in a mother, in a stranger, or some place outside of my world. Have my pen to cough up people with British accents and women who speak with a Somali tongue. Who knows, I may find them on television, catch them waiting for the bus, or greet the main character in the check-out line of the grocery store.