16 May 2011

the moment is

the moment is

when I was a kid, I used to wonder if it was possible to hold onto ordinary moments. you know, if you tried hard enough. if you closed your eyes and memorized every single thing about it, painted the scene in great detail in your mind and then just willed yourself to remember. could you? in twenty years? remember the way you bent down and scratched your knee while you waited for the school bus to round the corner. remember the way that peanut butter and jelly sandwich tasted while you watched an episode of good times. remember the way your skin stuck to the back of the station wagon seat while fleetwood mac played on the radio. because where do they all go? all the seemingly forgettable everyday moments? the thought of losing them all terrified the ten year-old me. no matter how unremarkable they were, I wanted them. I wanted them all. I still want them all. thirty years later and I have really only managed to hold onto what feels like a few measly scraps. for whatever reason, only certain moments stick.

so I thought about this earlier as I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store waiting for my husband to pick me up. I thought about how hard I tried at age ten to hold onto things, how hard I still try to hold onto things-- how I take photographs and make lists and scribble thoughts onto the pages of a hundred different notebooks, how carefully I've integrated this practice of preservation into my daily life. I am indefatigable. and then I sat there in that parking lot and did what my ten year-old self used to do. I memorized the moment. cool concrete beneath me, sun on my face. left hand on a cart filled with groceries for the week, giant bin of watermelons just a few feet away. old squeeze song coming from the grocery store speakers, me singing along. quietly, under my breath. one moment folds into the next and then it's over. and I am left hoping maybe this one will stick.

77 comments:

  1. Beautiful shot. Who knew shopping carts could look so lovely?

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  2. i almost cried when i read this. but then again, i am a little emotional today. beautiful, andrea.

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  3. you make me ache in the good way, friend.

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  4. so beautiful written.
    love this

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  5. and since you wrote it down, I'm sure it will!

    damn woman. you are talented. in both words AND film. xoxo

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  6. this post is gorgeous--your words don't just ring with truth, they vibrate violently with it. at least, they do for me.
    and i think we maybe remember the moments we NEED to remember, if that makes sense. <3

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  7. i've been thinking this same thing a lot lately. where do they all go? why can't we remember every single moment. i think it's why i, too, take SO many photos everyday.

    you always word things so perfectly. :)

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  8. if ever there is a way to sink into the now, this is it.

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  9. Oh wow! Thats what I used to do too...and now with my kids.

    Beautiful ♥

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  10. I was like that too, and then I realized that another moment would follow this one, and if I hold onto this one, I won't see that one. They're all precious.

    It's hard. I know.

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  11. "the practice of preservation"

    yes

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  12. Thanks for the beautiful post, I try to capture images to hold onto the mundane moments too....as much as one can...the dream is to capture everything from every angle, emotion and facet!

    You do an amazing job, thanks for putting it into words too!

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  13. Yeah, I'm amazed at how some moments stick....included the not so good ones.....! But when they're good, oh how good it is to remember them. :-]

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  14. simply beautiful- thank you!

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  15. i absolutely LOVED reading this!!

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  16. Since I turned 40 (almost 3 years ago now) time has been flying. So fast it scares me, for real. Like, it makes me want to cry. And I can't imagine that it could seem to go faster but I'm afraid it will.

    So yes - remembering the moments. Pure sweetness. You write so beautifully.

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  17. This is great. Love it. Thanks

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  18. You make my heart smile with the way you see things, write things, share things. xo.

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  19. oh...swoon!! that you found beauty and worth in that particular moment makes my heart do cartwheels. love.

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  20. I used to wonder this same thing when I was a kid. And I really did believe that I could remember nearly every moment of my life. The thing was, I'd lived so few years then that it seemed possible. And there were so many new experiences that everything seemed memorable.

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  21. I thought (think) and wonder about the same thing. And there are so many moments and objects that I forget about, perfectly ordinary things like the handle on the stove in the house I grew up, and when I suddenly remember them I am shocked that I ever forgot the thing.

    It's also like, I remember how it felt to do certain things. I remember how it felt to walk down the stairs in my old house, but it's just a vague feeling and knowledge of how it looked that fills in the memory rather than a specific moment of walking down them. It's unsettling.

    But other bits are so clear. I remember one summer afternoon, one exact second of being in my room and the curtains blowing and how it looked and felt exactly that second.

    This is a wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking post.

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  22. beautiful, beautiful post chelsea. one that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside and reminds me to stop and reflect sometimes. *sigh*

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  23. btw sorry, andrea!

    the first part was for chelsea (frolic blog) who shared this post on twitter. :-) i'm glad she did! your blog is also very lovely.

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  24. you read my mind... and my heart. I love this too mush.

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  25. yes. exactly. i have tried to memorize so many fleeting moments exactly as you said and i really wondered sometimes as a kid if i concentrated hard enough if i could go back to them. i think this is exactly why i love taking pictures so much. it's the only way to freeze time.

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  26. this is so beautiful Andrea, seriously I love your 10 year old self and your 40 year old self. That fact that you think about this, thought about it all then....well it just means you do remember. you remember to even remember. oh and great article in Sommerset Life ~ beautiful beautiful you!

    xoxo

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  27. "how hard I still try to hold onto things--
    how I take photographs and make lists and
    scribble thoughts onto the pages of a
    hundred different notebooks. . ." There's
    comfort in knowing that I'm not the only
    one who has this problem. God help the
    ones who have to piece all the post-its and
    notebooks together to form the complex
    puzzle that is US.

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  28. That's so lovely. I especially love when a memory comes to mind of something you've completely forgotten and suddenly there it is. Like a little gift left at your feet and one more thing you have held on to. You just didn't know it until that bright moment.

    Stay true.

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  29. beautiful. echoes my own heart!
    thankful for the moments that pasted themselves in my memory!

    xo

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  30. it's all so true.
    thank you for sharing

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  31. Beautiful post! I'm also an obsessive picture taker/ sketchbook maker and feel the need to document everything. My mother's sketchbooks are the things I treasure most now she's gone. x

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  32. Here's a resonance for you -- these are some of the lyrics from "Tempted" -- appropriate, no?

    Passed the church and the steeple, the laundry on the hill
    Billboards and the buildings, memories of it still
    keep calling and calling
    But forget it all, I know I will

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  33. Yay I can leave comments now! I emailed you the other day about Lolo. Anyway, I was and still am the exact same way with memories. I think it has a lot to do with appreciation of life and not wanting to be forgotten. That's not a bad thing. Nope, not at all. :)

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  34. your words took me back to many moments. . . and as I expressed a wistful sigh, I realized that there are still many moments to catch--to capture. Thanks for doing both with your words and camera.
    xo

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  35. thank you for this. i was/am exactly the same. sometimes my nostalgia or sentimentality about little ordinary things can be a bit overwhelming for me but it's like i can't control it - i know exactly what you mean. now i look at my kids and want to remember everything, want them to. did you ever read the poem, 'song of childhood' by peter handke? here's a link. http://bit.ly/kvvN3j

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  36. i clicked on a link in twitter yesterday that led me to this post. i knew it was a good one after reading the first couple sentences. but i got pulled away and didn't get a chance to read the whole thing. when i came back to my computer later that evening, i made sure not to close my browser because i still wanted to read this. finally got around to reading it this morning (browser window stayed open all night), and i'm so glad i did. i can remember doing this as a child. sadly, i don't remember many of the moments i was trying so desperately to hold on to. but reading this post did take me back to childhood, in an odd way. really, really lovely :)

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  37. this post was so poignant + universal...

    it's bittersweet that we can't remember all the details of our past. but maybe all those disappearing details of our lives somehow merged together + instead left a lasting imprint of how we felt at the moment. that we can remember, hopefully.

    thank you for your beautiful words.

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  38. Your blog kicked in a memory of 4 kids walking to the movies on a hot day in Decatur, seeing a fresh pothole patch and thinking the tar looked like liquorice, so we all got a stick and sampled it, YUCK! Can not eat liquorice to this day as it recalls this incident. BTW, none of us died.

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  39. I love this.
    I was like this too. I remember I'd always grab a piece of paper and a pen before leaving the house. My mom used to get so annoyed with me about this. She didn't understand that I felt like I NEEDED that pen and paper because I might want to draw something I saw or write something down that I did not want to forget.
    Thank you for the reminder that those days aren't gone - that we can still pause and soak it all in.

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  40. Can I just say....you are amazing. I feel the same way. I struggle to remember days gone by. But I guess I will just continue to take one moment at a time and hope that I remember it.

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  41. I have a few memories from my childhood like this...glimpses into decades a go...sometimes if I close my eyes, I can feel being there again. The moments like those are what makes life worth living. Lovely post, thank you.

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  42. I still try to do this too, I try and recall the ordinary, the everyday, and fail. it makes me sad also!!I loved this post!!

    http://kirasblahtoblog.blogspot.com/

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  43. Andrea, thank you for posting this reminder for all of us. You have no idea how much it means to me! :) ~SondaT

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  44. It's a little creepy how this sounds exactly like me! I can remember thinking the same thing 0 hold on, don't forget! Trouble is, my memory only holds the worry of forgetting those moments. I, too, am drawn to list making, journal filling, and photo taking. Thanks for putting it into words....

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  45. This is exactly how I feel - that time is slipping away from me and I won't remember the moments I need to remember - or want to remember.So be in the moment and savor it. love your writing, sweetie pie...

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  46. this is stunning. i just want to walk across the country and dance with you in a field of wild flowers. love you and love your artistry in all its forms. thank you.

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  47. This post is so beautiful. I would do the same thing when I was little, and sometimes do now. In my head I describe the scene as if I'm a narrator in a book.

    I kept this post open on my computer for a couple of days because I kept never getting a chance to read it, but I really wanted to because I saw a lot of people tweeting about it after it was posted. This morning I still hadn't had a chance to read it, but I'd had a blog post for my own blog humming in my head, so I got that out and then read this post. And what's so funny is that my post is about this same thing too, all the moments we forget.

    Funny how two people in different places are thinking about the same thing in the same week.

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  48. i just found your blog. it's wonderful & i look forward to catching up on it.

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  49. lovely, lovely hula...

    that was the best thing i've read in ages.

    thank you for sharing you.

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  50. i swear we are related. word for word, could have written this. i DO this. i DO this. and like you, i feel like time is slipping and i'm grasping on, scared i'm going to forget or miss something, and worse, worried i haven't RECORDED ENOUGH.

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  51. This is just beautiful!
    I find with me sometimes certain smells set of the smallest of memories and even just for a moment, it's nice.

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  52. Wonderful. Love the thought...to take in the moment. Love the photo I agree with Secia..who knew shopping carts could look so lovely.

    Cynthia
    http://coffeeonthepatio.com
    http://www.cynthiasblog.com

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  53. Beautifully written Andrea. Almost poetry and so I can't resist not sharing it here....
    www.hespokeshespoke.wordpress.com

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  54. gorgeous. simply gorgeous.
    you've made the personal universal and the universal personal.

    it made me remember staring into a fountain at night in vieux montreal, in love, staring at the water, woving to remember...

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  55. This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday: http://www.schmutzie.com/fivestarfriday/2011/5/20/five-star-fridays-150th-edition-is-brought-to-you-by-bertran.html

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  56. You are a lovely writer. I felt like I was sitting there with you.

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  57. I love ordinary days but I never thought of them as moments. I thought of them as a whole, as days when nothing disastrous happened. Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  58. Such a lovely post. I at times wish that I could remember most moments, mainly the good ones. But then I realized that it doesn't matter what moments I remember. Regardless they are always with me because I have been touched by them and they influenced who I am today.

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  59. i remember lying in bed with my little sister and my best friend as our parents drank and played cards and played benny and the jets way too loud. to this day that song transports me back decades .....

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  60. I do this too...make lists, take photographs...collect tear sheets of things that I like to collect...preserve...hold onto...remember...possess...cherish <3
    thank you for the reminder of why
    c

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  61. I feel this, too. I wish, wish, wish my memory was better. Of course, if it was, maybe I wouldn't have all my wonderful journals and photos.

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  62. i just had this happen to me watching my niece play in the park and i wished for the ability to hold the moment framed perfectly, moment by moment forever.

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  63. I love when I come across something that perfectly puts my feelings into words. This did that for me today. Thanks.

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  64. seriously...how do you take these small moments and turn them into THIS? this lovely post that makes us all say, "yes! yes! i do that, too! i get it!"
    how do you do it, talented lady? your words always grab me. and i love that.

    xo

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  65. this is beautiful (although I feel like I'm just borrowing the word from other comments). I have a pretty good memory but I realize I have a memory for the bigger things and those in between moments (the best ones) seem to fade. It's like I need a song or even a smell to remind me.

    my heart feels a little heavy right now but I love that other people don't take those moments for granted.

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  66. i lovvvvve that.
    beautiful. so well said.
    http://lmtyrrellphoto.blogspot.com

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  67. i lovvvvve that. so well said.
    beautiful.

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  68. Such beautiful wise words. How do we connect all the memories? You must have been a very intersting child to know (and I am sure an adult too). I think (in that I hope to remember to try) to remember more of the everyday. Thank you.

    Michelle

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  69. beautiful. lately, i think i have forgotten sooo much. then, some random thought from years gone by, that i hadn't thought about ever, will pop in my head. i try and savor that as my memory is in pre-menopause...and very forgetful...
    i guess why the "power of now" is sooo true.
    cheers.

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