Don’t you hate it… when you are deep in conversation with a friend but, as soon as they feel the vibration from their phone… ‘an incoming announcement of a text, tweet, iMessage or email’ they step out of the precious moment you were sharing together… and by snatching their phone out of their pocket (as if the future of the world depended on their involvement) its as if they pressed the stop button and, the precious moment is gone… forever.
How did it become a universal addiction… of peering over the digital fence (without a second thought) into the lives of others as if their moments are better or more interesting than our own?
For me it requires a kind of mental fitness regime to ward off the invasion of noise, of clutter, of headline mania… and, of the endless barrage of needless information. If I am not careful, I become enslaved to a mode of always comparing myself with others. By peering at their image, of who they say they are and what they have accomplished, of how they may write or perform or produce or communicate… I lose contact with myself. I forget who I am and what it is I am supposed to be doing with my own talents, my own time, my own life.
I might sound like an old crony… one of those last century naysayer’s referencing everything new as a poor version of something we had ’back in our day’… but I promise you I am not. I am a fan of what social media can provide us… and the interaction we can enjoy with global communities, story tellers and communicators.
But real moments are precious.
It was in a moment, during a long walk home one late afternoon that I stumbled upon the concept that there was more to life than just me or what I could understand. I was a teenager and had never (not once) considered that there was a God of any kind. I was an atheist, born and bred and nurtured as such… but in a single moment I noticed the sunlight caressing the leaves on a tree and, after running my fingers over one leaf, then another, and another… I realized that all the leaves were different from each other and, in that moment, a tiny seed of faith entered my soul. And I began to wonder. Could there be a creator, a supreme artist who designed all this world around me?
A few years ago I wrote this song “It’s Always You”. The inspiration? The thoughts and musings of that 15 year old on discovering the bread crumb trail leading towards the mysterious God.
This moment… this peeking behind the curtains, an adolescent act of faith, happened a long time ago. Before FB, Twitter, email, text… and iPhones. Back then I had time on my hands to dream, to muse, to mull over things. I could enjoy another one of those old fashioned luxuries; of being alone with one’s own thoughts.
I search for these same moments today while playing music… in the same way that I might do in quiet contemplative prayer. The process is a bit like the behavior of that 15 year old kid. I tend to find an entrance into the spiritual domain through the picking of a few notes, the strumming of a few chords, the humming of a simple melody. A day or two without these moments, these precious real moments of wonder, my soul begins to murmur, like the rumbling of a tummy… ‘feed me’ it says.
It’s within a moment of being alone (even in the midst of a crowd) that a new song like this one can be birthed, a creation that sounds fresh, a piece of art that is life giving. It’s nothing like the music I might play in the noise of expectations, within the clutter of the market place or the likes and approvals of what already is. Without the true precious moment, I am merely a poor carbon copy of another’s invention… and, if I am not careful, trapped in the prison of someone else’s thoughts or experiences, I lose the ability to imagine, to experiment, to create something of my own.
Within the genuine moments of quietness I am fearless… to be me.
Today’s Podcast “It’s Always You” explores this subject, of finding the precious moments in our every day life. To listen to this podcast and the entire “A Curious Child” series, visit my page on Anchor.fm