One of the many odd things about this life is the varying levels of awareness that we have of its passing.
The hours blend into days into months into years and years where we have put our consciousness on auto-pilot while we are…what? In the other room, binge-watching Netflix? Or wrapped up in the endless cycle of work, eat, errands, low-level social interaction, sleep?
It’s all so terrible and true, at least for me.
The other day I watched the Zach Braff movie Wish I Was Here, and the character of his father says at one point, “Try to remember how fast it goes.”
There’s a lot packed into that sentence, but that first word has been standing out to me today. That’s about all we can do, right? We try.
Some mornings, I whisper or think, Today I will be awake and alive to my own life. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Most days I’m neither awake nor alive enough to have that thought.
And sometimes we are lifted or knocked back into consciousness through no trying of our own. This week, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, has been an awake and alive week. Awake and alive with a sorrow that I can’t quite pinpoint, but that has allowed me to see people instead of just looking at them, to listen to things instead of just hearing them.
“I’m sorry you’re feeling down,” my wife said to me a few minutes ago.
“It’s ok, I don’t mind it,” I replied, and we both laughed at the incongruity of it all.
But I am grateful for the sorrow, because I believe that our ability to be familiar with sadness is tied directly to our ability to experience joy.
So may the sorrowful find joy, and may the numb find a sorrow that leads them to joy.
May we all try to remember.
And may there be grace to lift us up when we can’t even remember to try.
How fast it goes.