the thing about moments

* originally posted july 2013

In life, there are wondrous moments;
fleeting seconds of pure ecstasy,
that we wish we could bottle up to keep with us forever.
There are moments so pure,
so exhilarating and freeing,
that they almost seem wasted when we realize that we cannot preserve them in their pristine form.

I have spent a lot of time anticipating moments.
What will the moment feel like, when I graduate high school?
When I am free to go off on my own?
What will the moment feel like, when I finally overcome my abuse?
When I can 
get away from these men and find my own way?
What will the moment feel like, when I fall in love?
The real kind of love?
What will the moment feel like, when I realize I am loved?
When I am proposed to?
Holding my first child in my arms?

The anticipation of moments build and build and build,
until I almost explode with the excitement.
I imagine a moment so powerful, so felt, that it will be impossible to breathe;
a moment so amazing that it will last forever.

But they don’t; they never happen that way.

Painful moments; the kind that penetrate your heart and soul,
the kind that cause you to sink,
are the kind you remember vividly.
Painful moments, are the kind that stay with you.
The kind that last forever.

A death, being abused, an accident, getting hurt, watching a loved one walk away, hearing painful words, feeling painful things, stars dimming and dying …
we remember those; we feel those.

I can still smell my abusers.
I can still feel their touch on my skin, as I watch the goosebumps rise.
Those moments have been bottled, everlasting.
I can still see my childhood friend, dead in her coffin.
That moment has been bottled, everlasting.
I can still hear the names my loved ones have called me;
the way they have slandered my name.
Those moments have been bottled, everlasting.

But I fell in love,
the real kind of love.
And it happened so fast.
And try as I might, I cannot remember the smells or the touch.
I cannot remember the exact moment of impact.
I was proposed to. And as I stood there, looking down at him, listening to his words, I got carried away in my mind.
This was not a fairy tale moment,
this was real.
Is this how it feels? Where are the tears? Where is this grandiose earth-stopping moment that you hear about all your life? Why am I not crying?
Do not get me wrong, it was the most beautiful moment of my life and he did it so perfectly …
I guess you just can’t ever truly anticipate how you are really going to feel.

I got home that night and I wrote the entire proposal out.
Because I knew that unlike my bad memories, this one would quickly fade.
It would dim.
And I wanted to remember everything about it.
Because I could not bottle it up.

As I sit here now, anticipating a wedding … my wedding, I find myself a little solemn.
I have built up this day in my head.
A small, intimate ceremony, exchanging personal vows.
I imagine what it might feel like.
Will there be tears?
Will I be able to breathe?
And the sadness hits, because I know that that moment will be stolen from me as soon as it is over.
That moment, that beautiful moment, will be gone in an instant.

Oh how I mourn the workings of time.
Oh how I wish that we could wrap ourselves up in the ones we love, and stay with them forever.
Oh how I weep for moments lost.
Oh how I do so want to be blanketed by the night sky, lying next to these beautiful moments until the day that I die.

But the thing about moments,
is that they are not supposed to last.
We are ever-changing, ever-evolving, and that is sad …
but it is also beautiful.
Because that is time,
and time will always go on.


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