Each of the experiences mentioned in my February 20 post are fleeting. They overwhelm us with feelings of wonder, joy and love yet quickly dissipate or fade into the background of the next and immediate set of feelings which carry us along on the river of life that continually flows towards us. Consider the special Christmas gift we’ve wanted without directly asking for that suddenly appears in our hands. The surprise, gratitude and happiness of it is intense and can be momentarily overwhelming. In a moment we find words of thankfulness, experience the love contained in eye contact and a nod, and then go on to the next experience that captures our attention and sweeps us up in excitement. Why is it that we choose not to linger in this moment a while longer and decide to discard it? Oh, we may remember it brightly for a long time yet this is a solitary experience that is a shadow of our initial one and in no way compares to the heart felt intensity of the original moment.
Go back to experience of opening that Christmas gift and realizing in that moment what the experience is. Is it not a sign that you are understood and loved not just by the gift giver but the world? For the person who thought of you, who learned enough about you to discover your secret wish is not only part of your life but your world. This gift came to you because you could imagine it, the energy of your thoughts and feelings was alive out in the material world, someone made it perhaps for you to see to know that you wanted it but perhaps in response to your thoughts, and put it up for sale, the giver of the gift spent time and energy to find it for you.
This feeling and this realization is acknowledged in the moment but quickly discarded so we can go on with the routines and expectations of our lives. Picture what would happen if we did not do this. We would be giddy with joy, effusive in our thankfulness, out of our seat and dancing, oblivious to what was now happening in the room and what others were doing or wanted to do. Someone would soon say something to “calm us down,” to “bring us back to earth,” “bring us to our senses,” “remind us of what was expected,” “remind us of time,” or in many other ways interrupt our experience and let it go. And in nearly all of these moments we would discard our feelings. Yet, we would also lose the most precious part of them, the part that is ephemeral, fleeting, life altering because we do not have a place except our memories to store them.
The most important question then seems to be: Do we want to continue to do this?