I read recently in the Big Issue that the band Years and Years formed after the bassist overhead the frontman singing in the shower. I love that. It reminded me that sometimes life’s best moments and biggest breakthroughs find us rather than the other way around. Too often I feel like I must chase everything, from the perfect moment to the opportunity that will unlock a dream. There is so much merit in this, don’t mistake me, but aligned with this is remembering to be still, doing the normal and routine, and letting that something new find us.
I think about sipping a glass of white while watching a random movie that gets me dreaming again. I think about walking into a pub where the rugged brown beams, musty smell and gentle hum of punters offers the perfect snug away from the bashing outside rain. I think about looking out of the window before settling into bed to see the moon looking bright and big, seemingly just for me. The perfect goodnight. I think about the holiday I took with a best friend, where little and hilarious things happened which have and will always make only us laugh; a thread that will forever weave through our friendship. I think about standing in front of Charles River at some late hour looking at the Boston skyline, my earphones playing a song which reignites that something in me again. I think about putting out the washing or sitting on the loo and an idea comes which later blooms into something so much more. I think about walking the busy path beside the peaceful lake with a friend, the surroundings informing our words and helping shape another new memory. I think about reading a book which makes two hours feel like twenty-minutes. It is that good. I think about the gift of chocolate that provides the perfect antidote for a blah day. I think about sitting with friends around the campfire on the beach, sharing stories old and new. I think about the Indian takeaway I had with a bunch of people I never met, one of whom I quickly discovered shared my taste of comedy. The nerves fled and I was suddenly lost in an exchange of Karl Pilkington musings. Our friendship never looked back.
It is funny looking back on these moments, because I didn’t go into them expecting something special to happen, or at least what I expected to happen, but something does; conversations, work, decisions, circumstances and God conspiring towards something good and surprising. I go to the loo out of necessity – and what a nuisance it often is! – and yet I do not go in expecting to later rush out so I can jot down a new thought or idea before forgetting it. But that happens. Conversely, I look around town searching for a perfect spot to sip coffee and read, and yet so often I cannot and it stresses me out. Paradoxically, the moment often finds us when we have stilled our striving. I guess if we could replicate all our best experiences and most significant breakthroughs, and have the ability to manipulate every moment to our idea of perfection, the moments would cease to be special. Like the best of gifts, it is oftentimes their rarity and unexpectedness that causes us to leap. And so we treasure them all the more in our heart. We are all the more thankful for them. We are all the more determined to savour them when their time comes, for we know that when life returns to what is painful and hard and wearisome we will be so glad that we did. No regrets. And through all this, it stops me from getting too satisfied and too comfortable in this world. The good moments of life are often fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. This is not home. Home lays beyond the years I walk earth’s fragile ground. It is where I will discover and hold the moment of all moments, where my heart will never cease from leaping. I can’t wait!
And so with this in mind, do chase, do knock, do push, do craft and do graft. But do also leave room for the unexpected and unaware, because sometimes the best moments and biggest breakthroughs will come once your shift is done for the day and it is time for that something new to find you.