true value of a moment

You’ll never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. – Andra Watkins

The antique piano witnessed a billion moments in its creaky life. It endured the first tentative plunks of lessons, the wild thrashings of tiny humans, the heavings of movers from there. No there. No really…….there.

It leaned its dinged wood against the wall and picked dust from stained ivory teeth. More a piece of furniture than an instrument, its stretched strings echoed with Chopin recitals, with masterful hymns, with one moment a crescendo of chords and sharps and flats.

The piano longed for someone, anyone, to crawl in its lap and transform a moment to music again.

A little boy heard its whispered pleas. He was accustomed to plonking his fat fingers and fists into the keys, his own euphoria of erratic song. An extension of his voice, really. He liked the way it transformed his unspoken thoughts into sound. Barked orders of staccato. I love you Daddy in one slow, soft middle C. Joy in a barrage of clashing notes, pounded out at once.

He grasped for joy again.

But he never expected to make music with his toes, with the flat soles of his feet. From on high, floating above the piano’s ivory lap, he stepped through different emotions, danced into the moment he made.

The piano welcomed butterfly kisses and knew she would always recall the glorious little boy. Wherever the moving men carted her. Whatever became of her sunken keys. However she landed, she knew one more moment of bliss.

Moments matter. They are the building blocks of memory.

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Photograph Credit: Andra Watkins

This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

the true value of a moment

I don’t know what you’re going through life doing if you’re not really trying to collect some really great memories. ~ Channing Tatum

 

Lives are a representation of the yearning to collect. A person isn’t just bone and muscle, blood and sinew. Human beings are biological recording devices, branding everything we experience and storing it within.

If we could invent a machine to replay the database of our gray matter, we might attain omniscient recall. Perhaps we could recount what really happened at the scene of that car accident or describe the details of a face glimpsed during a robbery or dissect that final, longing look or remember our promises to take out the trash.

As with anything we collect, our memories play favorites. And favor instances we’d like to forget.

Who knows why the first thing I remember is being eighteen months old? I can see the lights go out as my mother covered me with warm clothes from the dryer. I feel the soft safety of my cocoon, and I hear my shrieking laughter as I spring from the pile’s center and spew garments everywhere.

Or why I remember running into the barren cornfield and cutting my bare feet on the stumps.

Or how I can still feel the black-and-white spotted coat of my pet cow Boo.

Or why I see myself squatting over a mole hole and peeing, because going inside meant walking too far.

Or where I hid when I spilled unset ice trays from the freezer and listened to Mom rant about who could’ve left water all over the kitchen floor.

Or what my dog’s food tasted like.

All memories I collected as a toddler, snatches of time I can’t seem to forget.

And that’s what makes my collection of memories grand: It’s eclectic and bizarre and weird and unexplainable. I’m grateful for the moments that rise to the top.

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Photograph Credit: Andra Watkins

This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

make fun memories

“We didn’t realize we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun.”
from Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins.

In the photo L-R: Alice Guess, Andra Watkins, Roy Watkins

I gaze into my squinty eyes almost two years after Mom snapped this photo, and I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming. I expected pain but not crushing agony, obstacles but not superhuman impossibilities, irritation but not a trial of my flimsy soul.

I’m glad I was clueless. Ignorant. Even idiotic.

Photographs like this one seldom happened before Dad and I began our five-week journey. Maybe his hijinks injected the proceedings with lightness and hope when I quaked in my leggings, cropped from the bottom lip of the photo. Down there where no one can see.

Screens can’t capture everything.

Our memories convert moments into brain movies, images we string together for recall. I remember how the sun glared as it rose over the tree line across the street. The slightest slope of concrete. The rightward listing of the car when Dad called shotgun and Alice took the wheel. I can still feel my heart wallop the inside of my ribcage as we floated down my parents’ driveway.

Too late to say I was joking about a marathon walk. Petrified of spending five weeks with a man I barely tolerated. I painted the world with preconceived notions to sweeten the unknown. To keep me headed westward.

To plow toward memories
that would alter me for all time.

When was the last time you were making memories AND having fun? I’d love to hear from you.

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Photograph Credit: Andra Watkins

This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

we didn't realize we were making memories