“Last forever!” Who hasn’t prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
For too much of my life I have been future-focused, bypassing the present moment. There is always a goal to achieve, a conclusion becoming commencement of the next phase, a sunset turning right around in a few hours to become sunrise.
There are indeed precious times when the present is so overwhelming, so riveting, so tenderly full of life, I must grab hold with all my strength to try and secret it away and keep it forever. But it will melt and slip away from me, elusive and evasive, torn to bits by the unrelenting movement of time.
Even if I was able to take a photo to lock it to a page or screen, it is not enough. No matter how I choose to preserve the canvas of the present, it has passed, ebbing away never to return. I can only wonder at the present by dwelling less on the foreshortening future.
So I write to harvest those times to help them last a little bit longer. Maybe not forever; they are too soon lost downstream into the ether of unread words.
Even unread, I am learning that words, which had the power in the beginning to create life, can bring poignancy and meaning back to my life. How blessed to live the gift twice: not just in the moment itself but in writing the words that preserve and treasure it all up.