The forgotten moments


“It’s already clear to me how much of life is forgotten even as it happens. Most of it. The unregarded present spooling away from us, the soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts, the long-neglected miracle of existence.” Ian McEwan wrote this.

When I read this, I was tucked into a corner of a train seat, my own unregarded present spooling by. I don’t remember which day. It was one of those moments that are so easily forgotten. And it scared me.

Even as it happens.

How, then, do we remember those moments?

There is comfort in the banality. A quiet satisfaction in straightening out the kitchen.

In laughing over a sit-com.

In waiting for the kettle to boil.

In silencing the house before bed.

These are the fillers. The moments that don’t make it to the photo album, but the moments that make a life. Most of it.

I get homesick when I’m on holidays. While I’m living the moments that I will remember. And often it’s not for the places or even the people, but for these places of quiet. The routine. The rhythm of my life.

The soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts.

And so, perhaps it doesn’t matter that we don’t remember these moments. Perhaps that’s not the point. Perhaps we need to have these moments of quiet, of unremarkable ordinariness, to balance the big stuff.

So – live. Remember the big stuff. And cherish the moments of quiet as they happen.

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