Friday, March 14, 2008

Pure Moments

I must admit to completely ganking this from JM's Honeyee blog entry for today. It's 5AM in Japan right now...I hope when he wakes up, he doesn't mind that he inspired one fangirl to a bit of introspection. Not that he knows this blog exists, at all - so really? Moot point I suppose. Karmically speaking though, good to give credit where credit is due.

Interspersed with lovely photos from Nijo Castle in Kyoto, Japan, JM writes these lovely words:

When was the last time you had a truly pure moment? The simple order of you, the enjoyment, the happiness, the end.
Without that nagging arithmetic of what the moment must look like to others, what it might read like tomorrow, and if it bears any significance in the long term...
When was the last time you heard the voice in your head over all the noise?
Simple happiness is at a premium... and I can't think of anything more valuable I want to own right now...
Self consciousness is toxic... And it's everywhere...I have not learned anything from fame and success that I wouldn't have wanted life to teach me without it...

Truth be told; I had a small glimmer of one of these moments yesterday. I was sitting at my dining room table, outlining Torts. (Outlining is a torturous process by which a law student boils down notes, prep materials, case briefs, and supplementals into a 25 page summary of everything learned in a class. It is then memorized, rehashed, beaten into a bloody pulp, torn apart, put back together and stomped upon over the last two weeks of the semester, and then forgotten forever. Or at at least until bar review time. I digress.) Sooz was sitting next to me, and Beethoven was on the stereo. We worked for four hours, lazily trading anecdotes from the readings, asking each other the pertinence of certain words and cases, and for once, I felt like a law student. I felt right; I felt like I was nearly enjoying myself.

Perhaps it was the Beethoven.

Pure moments:

When I'm saddled up and in the middle of a 20 mile training ride.

When I'm in the middle of a 1000 yard swim.

When I'm standing at the shore of Lake Michigan, on any given day, in any given season, and have nothing but the crashing waves in my ears and the rising sun in my face.

When I hear my daughter's laugh, or watch her sleep peacefully, for just a moment before I start thinking about all that she means to me and why she is growing up too damned fast.

When I'm behind the wheel of my car, driving.

When I kneel in a deserted church, adhering to the admonition be still, and know that I am God.

I'm relearning my definition of happiness, and I'm learning that it is self-determined. A quiet church, or a Japanese castle, or Beethoven, or even a sleeping child can effect a temporal euphoria; but in order to maintain true happiness (particularly the even keel that those of us with depression fight so desperately to maintain), it has to originate internally. External stimuli can give us the right feelings, but the internal condition is what makes that sunrise, that laughter, that prayer and that castle turn into that which pulls your mind and heart through the deepest of winters and the darkest of days.

It reminds you that spring is on its way.

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