The other evening, my beau and I watched a film called, A Single Man—about an English Professor who is despondent after the death of his lover. Early on in the movie, we learn that this professor is planning to kill himself in the evening. However, as the day goes on, this man experiences a number of encounters that connect him to humanity.
And this is what I want to talk about.
The producers of the movie used a beautiful device to show this man's connection to life. As he/we were looking at something, the colors would deepen and intensify right before our eyes. I was enchanted with this movie-making device because it so closely resembled what my own experience is when I am present and connected to life. Colors do seem brighter. Shapes pop. My senses are heightened. It really does feel like things change before my very eyes.
I know that at "big life" events many of us can slip into the space where we feel this glow. Weddings can feel like that. Or family reunions. Or funerals. But don't we all know it from ordinary moments as well? You know, when you suddenly look up from your desk and outside the window the leaves are fluttering in such a way that your heart aches from the beauty. Or when your son runs to greet you with a big snaggle-tooth grin and you suddenly rememer the mircle is he. Or you hear your mother's laugh on the phone and you are immediately filled with gratitude.
So I started thinking about these connected moments in life. And wondering whether they drop in randomly, like a sudden wind, or whether it is possible to create them. I watched in my own life and saw that certainly these moments came in like grace. But I also saw that when I take a deep breath, plant my feet solidly on the ground, and consciously "come to," chances are good that I can create my own connected moment. It might be as simple as looking someone in the eye and holding their gaze for a moment. It might be consciously stopping to give a little back massage to a tired friend. It might be placing a fingertip on a silken flower petal and focusing all my attention on the tiny spot where finger and flower meet.
Got any examples from your own day? Were there moments you suddenly felt like everything went from black-n-white to technicolor? If not, can you create one? I'd love to hear.
Photo credit: Kayne Q. Belul, my 10-year-old son who brings lots of color to my life.