Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And Speaking of Moments...

The following will be considered rated PG-13. Look away if that makes you horrified, but if it makes you say…eh. That’s tame for her…You might be disappointed.

If you’re somewhere in the middle…read on.

Okay, so…let’s talk about sex scenes in movies. You know how sometimes there are some reeeeaaallly hot ones? And I don’t mean pornos…I mean the ones they can show on regular cable TV, like this one that is on the Oxygen network right smack now. The Notebook. Think about Frisco and Felicia from General Hospital. And Robert Redford in The Way We Were. Richard Chamberlain in Joy in the Morning. Christopher Reeve in Superman II. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. Captain Von Trapp…well, you didn’t get to see that, but seriously…he gave you enough to be able to imagine it.

Sometimes I see one of those kinds of scenes and wonder…does everyone experience that? Does everyone…maybe only once, or ten times, or a hundred times in a lifetime…get to feel that sort of surrender and connection? Maybe lots of people do, and if that’s true…it makes me feel really glad for the world. What a nice kind of world where so many people get to feel those things.

I was talking to one of my high school students about something having to do with New York City, and I related the story of a time when I boy I had loved danced with me in Grand Central Station one December, humming “our song” in my ear. Wait…maybe I hummed. But anyway…I couldn’t have scripted that moment better. It was a Perfect Moment.

I sometimes think that I have been so incredibly overblessed by Perfect Moments in my life. Really. Way way way more than my fair share. When I look back, though, through the ones that really mattered, the ones that mattered both in the moment and in retrospect…I feel like I ordered them up from the Universe, somehow. I read some, and I dreamed some up, and some completely surprised me. But every time they came…kisses on a grand piano, my first sexual experience set to the backdrop of The Sound of Music one New Year's Eve (and I swear I am not making that up), fireflies in an August field, making love to piano music while the rain fell on an autumn afternoon…I was so freaking grateful. I wrote about them, I remembered them and cherished them, and the moments just kept coming. They still do, which is one of the many reasons why I know for sure that I married the right person. Despite all of the other roads I might have traveled at the many crossroads of my life, I am still gifted with those moments, now, after so many years and so many ups and downs.

I even think about the scene in The Notebook when James Garner dances with Gena Rowlands…when she comes back to him through her Alzheimers for that brief moment, when they find each other and cling so hard…I can see that moment someday too…growing old and continuing to find those moments when they come, and appreciate them.

If they don’t, though, if I don’t live out the long life I am planning on, I have notebooks full of moments, very nearly all of the moments that mattered. If I didn’t write specifically about one, then I at least wrote about the context of my life where it was able to occur. ("My Mom took the kids overnight so Patrick and I could have a date. We had a fabulous dinner at Tosca...the stars were out...) I might not write specifically about the "dot-dot-dot" (althought sometimes I totally do...sorry, Girls!) I don’t even know if this makes any sense. I say again…I have been overblessed. Someone might be interested in hearing about them someday. They are stories worth telling, many of them.

Here’s a transitional thought: I have recently notices how often I use elipses and italics. One of my favorite books is by the author of Anne of Green Gables. It’s called Emily of New Moon and it’s the other side of my spirit. I sometimes think that my soul is a meld of four main characters from literature: Anne, Emily, Francie, and Annie from Joy in the Morning. With a smattering of Jo March and a splash of Generic Gothic Novel Heroine sprinkled in. Anyhow…Emily is constantly criticized for overuses elipses and italics. She says something about really wanting people to hear her writing just how she thought it. I am guilty of that as well. That, and Capital Letters used to Emphasize a Point. I rather like those.

Anyhow…moments of connection. They’re not all romantic. Some of the best have been with my friends. My dear, dear friends. I love my friends more with each passing year. They are my tribe, and my cup runneth over with moments around the chiminea, the phone calls where someone cries – the love and appreciation just jumping out of our eyes. The showing up at wakes and laughing on the back porch and babies and wishing each other Happy New Year and Merry Christmas and Mazeltov.

They don’t usually make movies about those moments in life, at least not as much. But you know what? They totally should. Since they don’t, the very least I can do is to write them down in my many spiral notebooks, acknowledge and appreciate them, and give my daughters…(granddaughters, maybe?) ...something to strive for. Closeness and love and friendship. Something to believe is truly possible…that your life CAN be a Broadway show, that you CAN write things that other people will read, that your tribe seeks you just as you seek them, that you CAN love, honest-to-Pete LOVE a person so much that you will almost daily find reasons to remember why you chose him…oh, that’s a gift. That’s a blessing.

And I swear to Goddess, if you are reading this, I wish that so very, very much for you, too. I hope you have that, or find that, or remember that, at the very least. Even if it only lasted for a moment or ten. I wish it for you, too.

You should totally write about one. Wouldn’t that make you feel good?

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