I have a checkered past. I consider it one of my finer assets.
Once upon a time I studied to become an actor. I actually liked the study better than the act of acting. In class, I discovered the power of the senses. I learned how to give and receive energy. I thought I was studying acting. Heck, I was studying life.
Shanghai. Paris. Istanbul. Tobago. Brooklyn. Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles. Hollywood Beach in Florida. Just a few of the places I love. Full of moments sumptuously lived.
Big moments scream meaning. They’re the easy ones, in a way. November 1989. Standing in a brook in Rimrock, a forlorn hamlet in the Arizona plains, my feet firmly planted in the muddy ground beneath the cool water, 4 animals appear. A peacock, a bear, an eagle, and a deer. They flash for a moment, sharp and very clear, across the morning sky, then they vanish. The eagle rests on my head, the peacock walks toward me through the water, the deer and the bear stand on opposite sides of the riverbed and watch.
A moment. Undeniable. Another glimpse of reality. And I suddenly know that life will never be the same.
See if you can detect the bloom of the present moment, says Jon Kabat-Zinn, in every moment, the ordinary ones, the “in-between” ones, even the hard ones.
The sudden view of a forgotten canal in Venice Beach. The skinny stray cat that dashes down the alley behind my house. The dolphin fin that arches out of the sea, dips down into the deep.
The day you and I have the most piercing disagreement we had, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, my love for you wells up inside. Bloom.
Moments are such a slippery and ephemeral thing. They come and go with the blink of an eye. That is their beauty and their curse. Miss too many moments, and you miss your entire life.
Detect the bloom, and you catch the soul of a person, the spirit of a place. What you really catch, of course, is your love of the world. The sordid and the sublime. The banal and the exceptional. The big transcendent love of it all.
That’s a pretty nice catch, I say.
I hope THE MOMENT helps you catch with exuberant joy. Keep catching.