Have you ever read something you’ve written and didn’t recognize that you wrote it? Or look back at something you created and can’t recall how you did it? That creation was a moment in time that you captured, a time you harnessed your creative energy, all that you were thinking and feeling in that moment, into something tangible.
In March, I am publishing a new book of poetry, Words for Flying. It is the culmination of hundreds of hours of writing and revising over a period of about three years. Over the past month, I have been working with my editor on the cover design and manuscript, making minor updates to wording, punctuation, and sequencing.
I have read through the manuscript so many times that I almost don’t recognize the person who wrote the poems. They sound as if someone else had written them. A younger version of myself. A different self.
If I had to rewrite them now, I don’t know that I could or that they wouldn’t come out entirely differently. They are a snapshot of what I was thinking and feeling at the time I wrote them, and I suppose that is what makes them special. That act of creation becomes a timestamp of a temporary idea or feeling.
Each of us is a product of a momentary spark of creativity through the act of conception. Each of us is a completely unique manifestation that has never existed before and will never exist again. In the 4.5-billion-year history of Earth, humans are an extremely recent species. If just one component in the formation of the universe had been different, life on Earth may not have existed at all.
There is a concept in physics called worldline, which is the path of a particle in space-time. In one of his many television series on the cosmos, the physicist, Brian Cox, applied this concept to the path Earth travels through space. Rather than simply orbiting the sun in a static circle, it moves in a spiral, or corkscrew, pattern as it follows the sun, which itself, is orbiting around the center of our galaxy.
This means that at every moment, our world, and we on it, are inhabiting a unique place in space-time. Kind of like how every moment for us is a unique opportunity to capture our creative abilities.
Emily Dickinson wrote, ‘Forever — is composed of nows — ‘tis not a different time.’
To me, this means that every moment is an opportunity to capture your creative self.
Every moment is an opportunity to capture eternity.