As someone who writes (I am serving a self-imposed probation against calling myself a “writer”), there is nothing better than recognizing a moment while it is happening. Images tend to burn into my mind and tangential thoughts weave into common threads that end in some form of an idea. Recognized moments: where stories are born?
I recognized a moment last night. We celebrated my nephew’s first birthday in my brother-in-law’s restaurant, which was closed to everyone except for our small party. During our amazing meal in the back room, I took my son for a short bounce through the main dining room and kitchen.
Other than my son and I, the main restaurant was completely empty. There was a calming stillness. Though closed to the public, the restaurant continued to breath. Chairs were piled on tables, liquor bottles were wrapped with cellophane, and floor-boards took a well-deserved break from the usual crowds. But with just a few people and the flick of a few switches, the chairs could find the floor and the cellophane could un-cling. The restaurant wasn’t closed. It rested. And with my son in my arms, we found a moment to rest with it.
That was the moment. Simple. Elegant. Wonderful. We rested with the restaurant. I gently swayed to the barely audible beat that found its way to us form the stereo in back room. We ducked between tables, walked behind the bar, and found the heat from the stove. We looked at pictures, the pots and pans that hung from long shiny hooks, and the tidy bread station. Our hearts beat together; our breath slowed to match the restaurant’s soothed pulse.
We were in a book, my son and I. Write this down, I said. So many possibilities: we were where we were supposed to be; silence speaks volumes; acceptance can come through recognized moments.
So, I wrote it down. Not as a person who writes, but as a father who recognized a moment with his son. I must say, nothing a writer can do can beat than that. There would be no moments for the writers in us to recognize, unless the fathers, sons, husbands, and friends that we are live and breath those moments first.