Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What to do with Moments


One of the hardest things about being on a break from the blog was that when funny and strange things would happen, I would just have to enjoy them for myself.  Which, I must admit, was rather boring.  It was like the moment hadn’t really existed, which is terrible, because it had.  That’s such a hard thing about being alive, isn’t it, all these moments, every day, and how to keep them?  Take photos, write books.  Make them tangible.  But then, there are so many of them, you could spend your whole life just doing nothing but recording.  I remember Helen Garner once saying her compulsion to record was a sort of a curse – she would carry a notepad around with her and when she was having an interesting conversation with a friend or something, with sinking heart she’d say, ‘I’m so sorry, but do you mind if I note this down?’  It is kind of awful.  Like you’ll live your life and it will all be beautifully recorded and then in heaven you’ll get to sit back with your pile of well-documented memories and go ‘Right, now, time to enjoy it.’  And you hope that heaven exists, or at least some sort of reading room, because if not, you will never have been able to enjoy any of it in the moment and you will just be in the ground thinking ‘Shit’. 
Dad was like that with his camera, always filming everything, always hidden behind there at weddings and Christmas and at the kids’ baseball game.  He’s emerged now and has let go and is enjoying it.  But it’s a tough habit to break.
I find it tough: tougher and tougher.  Especially when you’re on a blog ‘Break’ and it’s Christmas and you're reading the Paris méteo on the internet and you look up at The Love and say,
“There’s snow tomorrow.  There’s snow Friday.  There’s snow Saturday.”
And he cocks his head and when met with your blank, expectant face, furrows his brow and looks at the floor. 
“Er… What?” he asks, seemingly disturbed.
“Snow.  The forecast says snow,” you reply, perplexed by his reaction.
And he laughs and looks relieved and says,
“I thought you said ‘There’s no tomorrow.  There’s no Friday.  There’s no Saturday.'”
And you laugh so hard your belly hurts.  Because it pleases you on so many levels.  Firstly, the idea of the actual words he thought you said.  That it could be possible that tomorrow, the day after and the day after that could simply disappear.  Secondly, that he could conceive that you would say such strange and profound declarations after researching on the internet, sucking on a prune.  Thirdly, that he would conceive that you could say something so apocalyptic with such calm, matter-of-fact conviction.
It was agonising not to record that on the night.  It actually hurt. 
But then, I suppose it’s still with me enough to remember it now, so maybe there was no need.

Whatever the case, putting the little moment safely inside its little bunny cage, certainly does feel good.

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