Most of the time our feelings are produced by our thoughts. We think of a person or situation, and our bodies respond with love, anger, fear, regret, despair, disgust—there’s no end to the places our minds can take us.
But sometimes the obverse is true. For just an instant, we are brushed by a fragment of memory. We pause, transfixed, thrilled not by the memory itself, which never coalesces, but by our closeness to it. We scramble after this phantom, try to fix it in time. Too late. It was gone as soon as it arrived, like the rainbow flash of an abalone shell before the dark waves rush over.
For me, these sensations occur most frequently in the spring, as if the earth, in her exuberance, is churning up my secrets along with her own, reminding me that nothing is lost. Akin to deja vu, this experience involves more certainty than suggestion. We are not stirred by a sense of the familiar but seized by our own lives, summoned to wakefulness. For a second or two, we exist in a portal, the distinction between past and present indiscernible. That fragment of memory was not an idle daydream; it was a clue, a means to the truth. We live all at once and probably forever.
Photo credit: Doreeno via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
4 thoughts on “All At Once”
This is such a beautiful piece of writing Jean. Please always continue your artistry of word as there is nobody I know of who expresses her feelings better than you. Thank you for All At Once!
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I’m delighted that it touched you, and that you let me know. Thank you.
I agree, spring is when when those sensations occur the most. And I’ve enjoyed your book very much! Your writing style is very accessible.
I appreciate this comment, Ann. As Forster said, “Only connect!”