“Last forever!' Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying.” 

― Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


  1. Oh, my... Dillard's image is harsh... but I can comfort myself with the truth that the moment is more than a canvas, more than an image itself. The canvas could be the scene before our eyes, but there is a reality that endures, not only in our memories, but in the intangible effects that every moment has on our souls.

    Often I have tried to be hyper-aware of a moment, to focus on a scene, say, like the one in the photo, but taking note of other sensory input that perhaps help one remember, hoping that if I'm paying close attention, I will not forget. But I have no confidence that it works. It seems that the things we are most likely to remember are the events most charged with emotion, and a lot of these most beloved moments are loved because they are calm and peaceful.

  2. You're right about the lasting effects, Gretchen, and thanks for the reminder of that. Wow - that is something I never thought about - that the calm and peaceful moments won't get imprinted specifically because they are calm and peaceful. Gives me more to think about...thank you. Hawkeye - Physics Prof. M took the photo. It really is a brilliant one.

  3. Lovely photo! And such a beautiful quote. The wistful prayer. The answer, harsh and poetic. Sometimes it gets swept downstream before I can make sense of it; those are the ones I chase down with writing.

  4. Yes! Thankfully we have a method for chasing them down.


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