The Eclipse

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I’m pretty sure I was listening to Modest Mouse when it happened. I had brought my iPod to the rooftop with me because I thought I would be bored, watching an eclipse. A lunar one, even. In the dark. But while I was gawking up at the stars, the only music I needed was my own mind’s wonder; my thoughts electrified with clarity. I could see everything then, in that drawn breath of the universe that shook me, hard. I pulled off my headphones, and the silence was beyond imagination. It was then that I realized I could finally hear myself think. In that tiny instant, I understood so clearly how much greater life was than my tiny earthbound thoughts, my dusty mental string of to-do lists and vague intentions, the little dot that was my life spiraling up and being lost in the immensity and clarity of the universe. The silence of that moment was louder than my music could ever be—it sung not to my ears but to my mind, my soul, my life.

I believe in the instantaneous. I did before then and I do even more now. That night, I found the moment that I had stayed up all night for, and in some way, that I had stayed up all my life for. It is not the only moment that I have been swept away by, and I hope it will not be the last. Most of my life is variation on the routine that has grown so familiar to me over the years, and I accept that; I welcome it. But even as I go through the motions of living, making the pattern that my life will be, I will always be on the lookout, watching for another moment. It is my promise to myself that no matter how large or how crucial my life feels at that moment, I will always remember to stop and dismiss the necessary, the practical, the straightforward thoughts. I will pause once in a while, listening for that earsplitting silence. When I hear it, I will once more smile, and think troubling, useless, silly, clever, probing thoughts that echo back in my mind, and the growing pattern and model of my life will fade away in the light of another moment of pure thought and feeling, tied to nothing, meaning everything.

I like everyday life; truly I do. I look forward to college and watching game shows and drinking iced tea and writing and making my bed and physics and handshakes and tea parties and just living. I enjoy the tangled frenzy of life, the idea of weeks and years compressing into a solid identity that I live by, but I will always hold my instants closest to my heart as I go through the years. I believe in moments, and I know that nothing is ever practical enough to stop me from sneaking out to watch the lights go out. Nothing can stop me from feeling and reveling in the very moment that change arrives. I love my life, but I live it for the moments.





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