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The Moments Between Us

Most people search all
of their lives
for someplace to belong to
as you said
but I look instead
into the eyes of anyone
who talks to me
— June Jordan, Poem For a Young Poet

We know how this works when we’ve lived awhile. People come and go from our lives, some never to return, and we move on without them. Some people we will barely recall, but others remain unforgettable. What do you remember most about a person? A tilt of the head and a shared laugh? Something said or done to punctuate the day? Often it’s nothing more than lingering in a gaze, and reaching deep connection with another soul, if only for a moment.

I have little interest in transactional conversation. If the barista or waiter is expecting to take my drink order and move on with their lives they have another thing coming. I seek connection, even in those brief seconds, that will create a ripple of positive energy in an otherwise mundane exchange. Most of the moment will surely fade away for both parties, but what lingers?

We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass
— Chet Powers/The Youngbloods, Get Together

Knowing everything fades away, wouldn’t the most generous thing we can do in this world be to then reflect light back to another? To illuminate and radiate, one-to-one, in this moment shared. It’s a form of upping the ante, because when the other soul is willing and aware they reflect right back to you too, magnifying the positive vibe.

This is the opposite of the negative energy seen in the comments section of any social media platform, where darker forces prevail. Do you wonder why? I believe it’s because fellow humans aren’t making eye contact with one another, and thus not feeling the stakes of the game they’re playing. We can’t make real connection with another through words typed in reaction to someone else’s words. Darkness only consumes, it never illuminates.

So where do we find moments of light? Awareness matters a great deal in building a life of connection and love. We all want to belong to something in this world. We all want to find meaning and purpose and maybe a bit of joy in the rush from there to the next. And there’s the answer, hiding in plain sight. So often we miss the opportunity for joyful connection standing right in front of us, awaiting our response. Look connection right in the eye and shine your light.

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