I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, maybe three years ago now. It was a fantastic movie about this teenage kid, Charlie, who doesn't always participate in things around him and is a mere observer, and writes in his diary a lot. Towards the end of his movie, he writes the last letter in his diary, which really stuck with me. Why? Maybe I used to be like him when I was sixteen. Maybe not.
"I know these will all be stories some day and our pictures will become old photographs, and we will all become someone's mom and dad.
But right now, these moments aren't stories, this is happening, I am here and I am looking at her and she is so beautiful....I can see it.
This one moment when you know you're not a sad story, you are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder, when you were listening to that song, on that drive with the people you love most in this world.
And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite."This is a seventeen year old kid looking at what lies ahead of him, taking stock of what he has seen so far, and deciding that there is nothing like this moment, right now.
And then, I came across this article by Amy Selwyn, who is writing about her turning 57. And here's where she looks at what lies ahead of her, taking stock of what she has seen so far, and deciding that there is nothing like this moment, right now.
"Lots of people I know speak openly (and bravely) about how much they dread the passage of time. I get it. Maybe they worry about whether they'll get to fit it all in - the experiences, the relationships, the travel, the books, the concerts, the walks, the coffee, the craft beers, whatever - in the time they have left. I dunno. Nobody knows, not even people who are given some kinds of heads up on the time remaining. We just don't know when it will all end.
Given the vagaries of mortality, maybe the key is letting go of expectation to the fullest extent possible. Simply saying, this is where I am now. There are things I hope I get to see and do, sure. But in this right now, here is what there is to appreciate. It is huge. It is amazing. Or maybe it's small and delightful. Or just pleasing. Or just kinda okay. Okay is good. Really.
The point is, it is enough. I am enough. I am alive."When I was reading this, I was reminded of Charlie's last letter and found it interesting how the view points of a sixteen year old and a fifty seven year old could converge so well. And then, I was reminded of Upendra's latest movie, Uppi 2, which I found to be a bit of a let down after it's previous edition. Probably because it took over two hours to make the same point that these two letters did so succinctly in just a few sentences. The point being that a lot of us live either in the past (trying to see the world through the biases we have developed over time) or in the future (trying to see the world as precursors that will or will not lead to the kind of future we dream of/dread) and almost never see things for what they really are (minus these biases).
Maybe I ought to live in the moment a little more often, because when I did, and biked for an hour listening to music that pumps me up, I did feel that we are infinite.