Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Moment...

The Moment
I am about to tell you two stories. Before I do, I need to tell you a story. If you go to my CV you will see the three mentors I had. Two things all three had in common was a preference for making use of natural light and shooting in full manual. I still hold to both of these conventions to this day. 

One day, about a month ago, I took a day to myself to explore the world without a plan and shoot. I was at a small regional airport shooting some restored WWII fighter jets and a bi-plane. I was situated on one knee setting up a shot manually of restored aircraft lined up. I was focused and I focused and I had composure as I set my composure. Then I heard it. The sound of a single engine aircraft taking off behind me and to my left. I wanted that plane taking off. In the middle of my plan a moment was happening that I wanted to seize. I stayed calm and I never removed my eye from the view finder as I used the sound of the plane's engine to track its location. As I moved the camera up, I adjusted the shutter-speed, aperture and focal length. She was exactly where I knew she would be and I depressed the shutter once. I knew I had it. The shot is not spectacular and will not win any awards, but it is how the shot came to be that I was proud of. 

I had a plan and I was in the middle of executing the plan. I recognized a moment. I stayed calm and focused and used my life skills to adjust the plan on the fly and seize the moment. I captured the moment and for the rest of my life I have this shot to remind me of the day I lived in the moment. 

This morning I was reminded over breakfast of the moments I missed because I was self absorbed in my plans, forgot my training and life skills countless mentors have taught me, and missed the beauty. There is no capture in the mind and heart's eye to enjoy for life. There is merely a missed moment. No apology or explanation will change that and life is not a movie or a book where the protagonist can recapture the moment and win the day in the third act. There is no Deus ex machina to wheel onto the stage to resolve everything to your liking. There is only the knowledge and the recognition that you missed a moment. 

Now you have a choice. You can live in regret, or you can accept the results of your actions and inaction and learn how precious every moment is. Life is short. Recognize the moments, stay calm, and change the plan so you have a lifetime of delight.  

I may be a troubadour by nature and at times a jester in the king's court, but I will be damned if I take the fool's path and not recognize the wonder of the moment. Over the last few months I have made completely new friends, taken drastic career changes. I would like to say I have reinvented myself. That is not true, I just found the core of who I am and chipped away the bullshit. Anecdotally, it has been rumored that Michelangelo said of his sculpture of David that he just chipped away the stone that did not look like David. In life, I have rediscovered my "muchness" by chipping away all the stones that do not look like Pat. I am not done yet. It happens in moments including this moment.

The moment we seize.

The moment we miss.

The moment that contains beauty and wonder.

The moment is all we truly have.

The moment....

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