A moment, please

Have you ever been trapped in a moment? 

I have. It happens to me all the time. I just don’t know when to leave it. How do you know when a moment starts and where it ought to end? You can’t ask it. Moments are silent creatures. You will never get a word out of them. They are invisible and yet we meet with them all the time. Some are nicer than others. A bad moment can make your skin prickle and head turn hot. They can also hurt, like a big old heavy brick being dropped on your foot. Those are the worst. The hard, ruthless ones. It’s best to avoid them if you can.

Actually, I forgot. There is something worse. It’s the stagnant moments that I like the least. You can find yourself sitting in one and then before you know it you feel like you’re are sinking into a gummy swamp pit. They suck you into their gelatinous trenches. It’s awful. Worst of all is when you find yourself turning into something resembling a terrible bog monster. There was this one time where I couldn’t get out of one and and my arm started to turn sticky and melt, like cheese in the oven. I touched my skin and it glooped. I had started to congeal. A stagnant moment takes your power away you see. Before too long you haven’t got even the strength to leave it even if you want to.

Note: it’s good to have a friend you can call on who will pull you out and wash these bad moments off. They might get into a bit of a sticky mess if they touch you, but it’s such a huge relief to be rid of the gunky stuff. Make sure you thank the friend kindly and offer them the same help in return for the favour. We all need someone who is willing to drag us out when we’re knee-deep stuck in the mud..  

A good moment however, can be the loveliest thing. These are undoubtedly the hardest to let go of. When I stumble across a really nice one I try to wrap myself up in it, like a cold child being swaddled in a woollen blanket. I let myself be soothed and comforted by it for as long as I can, until something inside me starts to shudder. I get this strange feeling, like my bones are beginning to ache. A moment can run deep, you see – right through your body. When it’s been there too long I can suddenly feel it grumbling from within like heavy storm clouds before a downpour, telling me it is time to leave. That’s when I know I have to release it.

Now we’ve come to the most important bit: knowing how and when to let go of a moment, no matter how nice it is. Moments ripen in the same way as fruit, which is why you can easily spoil one if you try to keep it for too long. Some moments are long and some are short. You can’t always predict how many seconds or hours they will last for. I try to pay careful attention to bite into it at just the right time. I like to let the cherry-roundness and sweet juices sit and swill in my mouth. You mustn’t be greedy with it though. Each moment has a point at which it is at its most flavoursome and delicious. After that it will start to rot, and all you will be left with is a horrible aftertaste.

Instead, let the moment go and simply keep the memory of it. That way it can stay perfect forever. If you are thoughtful and kind, you can take the seeds of that moment out from your mouth and leave them on the ground. Then there is a chance that your moment will stay and grow back again for the next person who finds it. This is the magic of moments you see: they are never truly over. You might think they have gone, but they will eventually return and blossom again. There really is no end to where or what they can be.

I hope from reading this you will think about the different moments you encounter, and what you do with them. Each moment is unique. They can be wonderful, peculiar, scary, unpleasant or confusing. Sometimes they can even be enlightening or life-changing. But remember that deep down they are vulnerable creatures – just like us. Treat a moment well and it will do you good in return. And I must remind you, dear reader, that if you think you sense a good moment, for God’s sake don’t let it go and miss it. Sometimes you simply have to make them happen for yourself. It’s a great shame to let a nice moment go to waste.

In fact, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you have just had one right now. I do hope you’ve liked it. Please come back again soon and share another with me.

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