Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Exquisite Moments

Along Highway 11 at the Kootenay Plains.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you wake up and realize that you are here?
I know reads rather oddly. Where else would you be but where you are?
What I mean is the moments of exquisite life when you are fully awake; when awareness of yourself and your world is at its sharpest.
I’ve had a few of them over the years. Two that I recall were while I was all alone in my car. It was as if I’d awakened after a very long half-sleep and realized who and what I was.
I recall being tickled silly: “I’m all grown up and driving!”
It was good that I was alone on both occasions. I am sure I grinned like a cheerful idiot, and I’m equally sure I would not have given a sensible response if asked why.
I had another one recently. Just the other day I realized that I’m doing the things I said I’d do.

Years ago in junior high school I thought I’d like to be a freelance writer. I had no clue what that would entail, but it sounded good. It made use of two of my favourite words: free and writer.
Also during those years I saw a photograph in a magazine of a street, a fence with a loose board, and a tabby cat half-hidden by said board and I thought I’d like to be a photographer.
“Anything I can’t say in words I can say in pictures,” I thought that day.
When I was eight I told my dad I was going to be a reporter and I was one for nearly 20 years.

Today I am a freelancer. I’ve taken pictures to go with my stories and in the past I've done a few freelance photos for a former newsmagazine, Alberta Report.
I once did a freelance article for another magazine that was based in Edmonton back in the mid-80s. I’ve forgotten the name, but I recall it was run by women.

The other day I was out on my deck enjoying the summer when I woke up to myself and my life and realized I was doing what I said I’d do. I am doing what I want and I am here and I am alive.
That bit of exquisite wakefulness wasn’t as sharp as the ones that came to me while driving, but it was still an exquisite moment.

Has it happened to you? Have you had an exquisite sense of your life and what you've done?


Crabby McSlacker said...

I could use some more of those. I tend to spend a little too much time wanting to be doing something more "important" and often missing the joy of where I am.

Leah J. Utas said...

They just come over me, Crabby. I certainly understand your point.
We get caught up in 'doing' and forget about 'being.'

the Bag Lady said...

Those little "epiphanies" have happened to me on occasion, too. It's a wonderful feeling. My clearest one was the second or third time I came out to visit the ranch before I moved here - I suddenly looked at my surroundings and realized that THIS is where I want to be.
Love your new blog header photo!

Leah J. Utas said...

That must have been quite a moment, df Bag Lady. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for appreciating the new header. I wanted to brighten things up a bit and I thought the golden-mantled ground squirrel in the fleabane patch was cute. I took the pic at Ram River Falls on the weekend.

Frank Baron said...

I'm not sure if the feelings are the same but I suspect they're similar: Every once in a while I'll feel "extra connected." In my late teens or early 20s I began referring to it as "plugging into the universe." I would simply feel attuned to everything going on around me. In most instances it occurs while in a natural setting, outdoors, often while fishing.

It provides a wonderful sense of realization that I'm a small part of an astonishingly interconnected and amazingly large and complex whole.

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank, it's wonderful to feel those moments of connectedness.
I can certainly understand how being out in nature would bring that feeling on.
Thanks for sharing your moment.

Missicat said...

You are a very lucky lady! I do realize that, despite some of the twists and turns my life has taken, I am where I belong at this moment.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Missicat. I'm glad you're where you should be. I'm where I belong, too. It's a good feeling.

Fortune Cookies said...

I had a moment of clarity once, when I realized that I had taken control of my life, and no longer let certain outside influences control me. It was an amazing, light in the darkness, coming out of a deep slumber type of feeling. I don't quite have that "I'm right where I always wanted to be" feeling, but I'm working on it. (I have a bit of catching up to do)

Leah J. Utas said...

Hello Fortune Cookies. Good for you for taking control of your life.
Keep at it. I know you'll get there, and the journey is part of the fun.

Mark Salinas said...

I think so...initially I get "creeped" out almost like a deja vu moment. Or possibly a sense of being completely connected?

Leah J. Utas said...

I've had deja vu moments, Mark. They feel weird all right. The sense of complete connection is a thing of wonder.

Reb said...

Weird as this may sound, I know I am where I am supposed to be right now. It is maybe not the greatest place and can be a bit frustrating at times, but it just fits. The deja vu that Mark mentioned - I am getting more of those....I had lost them for awhile - a long while.

Leah J. Utas said...

Cool that your deja vu is coming back, Reb. Most interesting. Sometimes where we're supposed to be seems counter to the common wisdom, but everything happens for a reason.

Thomma Lyn said...

I've had those, too. They are crystal-clear moments of awareness. I have them more often in the woods than anywhere else.

And yup, I relate: when I was a little kid, I wrote a paper on "what I want to be when I grow up." I said I wanted to be a novelist who has cats, lives in Wyoming, and who's married to her soulmate."

Well, I'm a novelist (still unpublished except for one novella at an epub which folded, but gonna work on that), I'm married to my soulmate, and I have four cats. LOL! I don't live in Wyoming, and I've love to go back somewhere, but I do love the mountains of my East TN home.

Yes, those times of realization -- of being fully present in the here-and-now -- are wonderful. :)

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh, poo -- my brain short-circuited. Meant to type... "I love Wyoming, and I'd love to go back sometime..."

Leah J. Utas said...

TL, it's wonderful to read that you are doing what you want to do.
You may not be in the state where you planned to live, but I am sure you're in the state where you're supposed to live. For now, anyway.
I love those moments of awareness.