The silence between each is both the death-knell for the second that came before this one, and the brief, pathetic highlight of the life of this one. The shortest, most overlooked birth, a swift race through life, what dreams it had, were it to have any, quickly lived through and the end arrived at.
The soft opening strokes of a guitar as the singer finds the right note and takes a deep breath, ready to break into song, and just as rapidly, arriving at the lowering of the voices of the cheering audience as the cymbals slowly stop vibrating from the drummers last strike with her sweat-coated hand gripping the cello-taped drumstick, and the bass ebbs from suffusing presence to dull nothing, the rapture of the music now a memory which the emptiness after it only highlights with a soft melancholy.
Then the second’s hand moves again, and that moment, like the one before it, is no more.
To explain the remarkable beauty and mystery that is life, we look behind us at the place where we might have come from, forward at the places where we might go, to either side of us at our fellow travellers, and finding none whom we can unanimously agree know better than we do, we take life in our hands and seek to demystify it. Hack it apart, label the pieces so we may understand it all better. Millennia and centuries, decades and years, months and weeks, days and hours, and seconds, seconds, seconds.
I think we are all afraid we may not be millennia and centuries in this order, that we may not be the grand passing of a leviathan in the shadowy deep of meaning and existence, that we may be nothing but seconds, rising to prominence, cresting and vividly occupying that moment, and then ebbing almost as soon.
Maybe we are. But what a glorious, beautiful second you can be! What stark contrast to the backdrop of bleak dark and unexcited grey you are, sparking into existence as to illuminate all beneath, above, and around you, not to be missed now, living so spectacularly as not to be missed ever.
And then the second’s hand ticks again.
Margaret-Mary ‘Zara Gretti’ Toyin Joseph. Not missed; loved.