There It Is

Sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by Google Reader and my vision blurs staring at pages and pages of words, I refocus for a moment and I’m hit by Zan McQuade.

“I keep thinking I need to write it all down while I’m still here. Everything. Every last inch of curb and gutter stench. Every single person that passes me on the street.

And so I write this moment…

The focus that comes from free writing is tantamount to what you gain from free time. I have always felt that my most thoughtful moments come during the two-hour drive home from school and the blissfully (and so not green) long showers I indulge in when my roommates aren’t around to witness my waste.

It’s there that I’m able to flashback, or forward, for a while. Sometimes these moments take me to a conversation I had that day, other times its imagined conversations in the future or little moments or phrases that I’m able to bloat with meaning. After I arrive at my destination or run out of hot water I’m almost scared by the amount of time that has passed. It always feels as though those moments of introspection have aged me so much, as if my wrinkly hands will now be permanent.

I ran my hands underneath a stream of water for a few minutes to see if those wrinkles that appear distort the little swirls of me at my fingertips and they don’t.

Do you know why your fingers do that when you’ve been in water too long? It’s an adaptation. The wrinkles act as treads for the water, allowing a better grip in wet conditions. It’s a way for us to increase our sense of touch.

To pause and reflect on a moment, to write it out and appreciate it–every aspect of it–is to increase your awareness. You can’t capture it all, there’s no point in doing that, but in the next moment, when you’re just experiencing it, you’ll feel it all. A runner who can’t catch her breath won’t be running long and a writer who doesn’t stop to appreciate what’s around her won’t have much to write, or see. Everyone needs a moment to themselves, to gain some tread and a better sense. Every moment spent with yourself is a good one.

“The pause makes you think the song will end. And then the song isn’t really over, so you’re relieved. But then the song does actually end, because every song ends, obviously, and THAT. TIME. THE. END. IS. FOR. REAL.”

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