Saturday, June 13, 2015

Heart-break: Moment of being

My writing coach, Patricia Francisco, worked with me on the lovely, lovely concept of "moments of being." Virginia Woolf used the phrase in her work "Sketches from the Past" to describe those times / moments when we experience a deep knowing, understanding, insight or reality. She was, at the time, working with her own memories, especially from her childhood.

Little, big, in-the-middle sized memories of moments that are not forgotten because they become the architecture of a life. I appreciate how small the moments can be.

What I think is profound is to notice the moment as it happens - to be in the experience and to be observing the experience at the same time. Is that what forms memory? Do we have to be consciously observing to have it become memory? I don't know the answer to that.

I just know that this morning I had an experience that felt like that, and I wanted to write it down. Here it is:

I’m in my blue chambray pajamas. They are too big for me, but I like feeling smaller than I am because of that. They drag on the floor and the sleeves fall at my fingertips without rolling a cuff. I stand at the stove, stirring the spinach and onions in the black cast iron skillet. I’m making an omelet for Lee. He cleans out the Italian stovetop espresso pot, which is always a mess. He makes me cappuccino every morning. Today’s cup was perfect.
And now, from the area of my heart, I start to quake. A feeling begins to erupt, like a little bird nosing its way out of its shell, cracking softly. The spinach and onion blur as my eyes fill with tears.
“I feel so much emotion,” I say, naming the obvious.
Lee turns my way and smiles. “Here, making an omelet?” 
“I know I won’t be able to make you an omelet forever.  I know the day will come when we won’t do this together, here in the kitchen, quietly working side by side. Each of us just doing the simplest thing. For each other.”

He moves to put his arms around me and holds me there with my pajamas dragging on the tile floor. Then I go back to the stove and pour the eggs into the pan. 

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