At this point I really can’t explain why time and time related things have been on my mind. Except that everything I read and every movie I see—and yes—even my own life is described and felt and lived out in sentences, poems and relationships that mark the passage of time.
Wednesday evening Sandi and I went to see the movie “No Reservations” which is the American re-make of the German movie called “Mostly Martha”. It is basically about a female chef who ends up having to take care of her niece and all the ramifications that follow in the footsteps of that decision. I happened across “Mostly Martha” a year or so ago on Netflix and enjoyed it and since the reviews of the new movie were positive, thought that it would be worthwhile checking the American version out. It is a good movie—well acted and filmed and not overly romantic. It describes the events and passage of time from just before Kate (the chef) takes in her niece unto a time several months into the future. The movie contains all of the elements of a good story although what these are escape me at the moment. ¡Qué ellos son actualmente no es importante!
Anyway, on the drive home after the movie, Sandi and I began to talk about what it means to “make every moment count” and how hard this concept is to seemingly fulfill in our everyday lives. The balance between what you have to do and what you would like to do if you could do anything at all. Or even going so far as to say even making the most of every moment doing what you have to do. As if any of what we have to do or don’t have to do has any bearing on making the most of every moment. I guess you can see where I am headed with this.
Most of us have lived our entire lives with the knowledge that many opportunities are missed in living everyday. How often do we have to hear “stop and smell the roses” before we actually slow down enough to see all the many facets of our lives that come into play at any given moment. The poet Robert Frost talked of the road taken and the one not chosen alluding all the while to the different realities that each one held.
It’s kinda like the difference between being a tourist or a resident—as a tourist, our time is more or less our own and we can often take time along the way to really look at what is around us—that’s what is called a vacation. As a resident, we generally have a schedule to follow and are very goal directed and somewhat blind to what is around us—having seen the same scenery day after everyday.
I remember being in the subway tunnels in New York City and in the process of getting from one train to another, crossing underneath a street where on one side stood a man talking about the gospel. And even though he wasn’t shouting hell-fire and brimstone messages and seemed very balanced in his presentation—no one was stopping or otherwise signaling that they were even paying attention. Everyone was on their way someplace—even Sandi and I—and he wasn’t on our schedule for that particular morning. I doubt that we would have stopped and listened to Beethoven at that point if he had been playing one of his greatest sonatas.
Yet, later in the day, we stopped by Washington Square Park and languished for an hour or two in between destinations and watched the people of the city being the people of the city. It was a planned stop in an otherwise semi-unplanned full-bore-busy day in the Big Apple.
What would happen if we all started acting like tourists in our own everyday lives—taking time to talk to the waitress and encourage the shopkeeper as we move along inside our daily routine.
This may sound random, but I have just come to the conclusion that if you only want to recieve something from life then it really doesn’t matter that much to me whether you show up or not. Conversely, if you are living your life in order to give something of yourself away each and every day, then you will be connected, concerned and fully paying attention to the little details that seem to mean so much.
Making the most of each moment is then really not something that we do as much as a way of living that begins in looking for opportunites to be connected to what is going on around us and then making a choice to be a participant rather than an observer and in so doing our timeline will become more interesting—for ourselves and for those around us.