Friday posts will be simple. The Dude and I rest intentionally on the “Sunday” of the Islamic world and I want to preserve that, even if attempting to blog every day.
The following quote is from Death by Living* by N.D. Wilson, a short full-of-life book we’re devouring right now. The author tells of watching swarms of tourists snap photos at the Vatican and reflecting on human attempts to capture the fleeting moments of our lives in stills…
In this world, there is no true freeze frame. Pictures do not escape time. But they do sit in it. Pictures are men grabbing at wind to make themselves feel less beaten by the driving current of this river. We pinch brushes to pinch moments, feelings, and . . . that thing that was just now but now it’s gone. Did you catch that? We push buttons and point electric boxes. Did you get that? And most of the time we never go back to look. I got it (I think). But we feel better, like fishermen hooking everything but reeling rarely.
In the history of the world, how many men and women have lived? How many moments have been seen? How much yearning drove how many people to paint how many pictures? To carve how many rocks? To snap how many shots?
Question: What percentage of the totality of man’s creations through all of time are now in museums?
Answer: Insert made-up number here.
Who cares? Is it a waste to grasp at moments? To try and catch the wind between my forefinger and my thumb? To feel and see and taste and touch the music of the world, to glimpse the transcendent in the simple and the simple in the transcendent, to shiver with awe at the sight of a child studying foot-pounded dust, while twisting slowly in the air above it, head and shoulders through a tire swing? To stare for an hour at the still, black surface of a lake, to marvel at the invention of water and my need to swallow it, feel it, and ride it?
I stretch my mouth wide with words until my jaw aches, and still I fail. I grab a pencil to sketch and I fail even faster. I stare at the slowly spinning child staring at the earth, and I know that if I reach for my phone, for the appropriate app, and worm forward to catch the appropriate angle, that I will not really capture this thing called now. I am only throwing a pebble at the lake, adding my little ripples. But I don’t care. I will have participated, I will have joined in the creation, like an ant leaning a leaf against a skyscraper and brushing off his forelegs, glad to have helped.
I love the way he is candid about the futility of the try-to-capture-it effort, and whole-heartedly embraces it at the same time. “I am only throwing a pebble at the lake, adding my little ripples. But I don’t care…”
Yes, yes, and YES! Live out, pour out, be here. I want this to sink deeper and deeper into my being.
You? Did anything resonate with you from this? I’d love to hear it!
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