As far as I know, no photos, and certainly no videos, exist of my childhood family dinner table. What would I give to see, seated across the table from me, my older sister and my late parents?<!–more– more> (My younger brother came later.) The core gang — the whole band — was all there. And never again will they be.
I try to remember this when Doc, FD, SD, and I are having dinner. In-between the requisite exhortations to sit down, to put the phone away, to not interrupt. The whole band is here, just for now.
FD entered high school last week, which probably means we’re on a four-year countdown now to the breakup of my personal Beatles. This is, of course, as it should be. But still.
How can you hold time, stop it from maddeningly slipping through your fingers now matter how tightly you clutch it? Of course, you can’t. The only constant in life is change — one of my personal internal sayings — and I just wish I knew better how to how to embrace that infernal flow instead of fighting it and wishing it would stop. Or at least pause.
It’s got to be the process, from infancy to old age, I have to learn to love, not the stops along the way. The trickiest part about being present in the Now, of course, is that as soon as you notice it, it’s Then. Gone.
Of all the goals I’ve set for myself — and there are many, personally, professionally, and creatively — Number One is remembering to enjoy these fleeting moments. When you’re in the middle of it it takes someone more spiritually evolved than me to keep an eye on this particular prize. I’m better at it than I was. I hope I can get better.
Meanwhile, tonight at dinner I think I’m going to ask both girls to take brief videos of what they see from where they sit at the table. They won’t be able to keep the whole band together any better than I have. But at least they’ll be able to look back someday and see again what they saw back Then. Which is to say, Now.