Perhaps the fictional character, Moonlight Graham, said it best in the movie Field Of Dreams, “You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening.” It’s true. We’re so focused on moving from one moment to the next that we fail to see the magnitude of the current moment. It’s only later on in life when we look back do we actually take the time to salivate over those moments. But, let’s be honest, as time marches forward our memories fade and the indelible truths of that moment are re-written or even worse, forgotten.
In one of the greatest episodes of The Sopranos, ironically titled “Remember When” Tony scolds Paulie for looking back and reminiscing. With such disdain he utters, “remember when is the lowest form of conversation.” When I watched this live on HBO, I recall thinking, “damn that was harsh.” But, the more I think about it, I tend to agree with Tony’s feelings…albeit for different reasons. See, I think the reason remember when is lowest form of conversation is because we should have been talking about the moment…while we’re in the moment…instead of waiting 20 years to talk about that moment. Remembering the moment later on in life instead of giving it the acknowledgement it deserved while it was happening, cheapens the moment…making it the lowest form of conversation.
It would be nice to know when we’re in the middle of one of those significant moments. But, that would make it too easy. To know the gravity of the moment is no easy task. We often hear sports stars talk about how they rarely realize when they are in the moment. They know when they’re in the zone, but knowing when they’re in the moment often escapes them. When Jordan dropped 63 on the Celtics in the playoffs he couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of that moment. How could he? After all, Bird hadn’t yet said, “that was God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
See moments happen every day. Our days are nothing more than a series of moments strung together. And you’d think that amongst all the moments, the really special ones would stand out. Sometimes they do, but often times we’re already advancing to the next moment that we haven’t even taken the time to savor the significant moments.
As I think back on my own life, it’s tough to pick out the significant moments. The only two I’m sure of, are Cora and John being born. Beyond that, everything just seems to flow together. This isn’t to say that I haven’t had some major, even life changing, moments. But, I’m not sure if any of them were “significant.” Lately, I’ve been trying to pay more attention. I’ve been trying to take stock of each moment. I think there’s a few recent moments that will eventually qualify as significant.
I know this sounds like a “stop and smell the roses” type of post, but it isn’t. Stopping to smell the roses when the roses aren’t part of the moment, misses the whole point. The point is to take 5 minutes, put the iPhone down, turn off twitter, and log out of facebook. Then spend 5 minutes in the real world and soak it all up. One of those 5 minutes just might be a significant moment.