I used to smoke. I loved those cigarettes after a great meal or when I was feeling sad, or if I wanted to write a good poem or was feeling anxious. I always felt like those things really demanded a smoke to go along with them.
As people became more and more aware of the hazards of smoking, having a cigarette became somewhat clandestine. I mean, you had to leave any venue you were at to run outside and smoke, even your own house. So it became a chore rather than something enjoyable. The last straw, as they say, was smoking in the rain during blizzards, snow blowing in your face as you puff away at that little white stick. I mean, how ridiculous right?
Well, addictions are hard to cure. During this time when I was smoking, it took everything in my being to find that perfect moment. You know, the perfect moment when everything aligned. The smoke, the mood, the weather, the enjoyment of the actual smoking, all relied on that special moment that it seems I was always looking for. That moment when all was right with the world. I can’t tell you how hard it is to find that moment. I would strive for it on a daily basis. I would thank God for springtime so I could go out on the deck and smoke in relatively warm-ish weather, where I would not have to worry about frostbite while smoking.
What is more harrowing is, that perfect moment never came. I could never seem to capture it; when everything aligned with the stars. There always seemed to be something missing from the equation. The law of chaos I suppose?
What I find more interesting is it has been years since I’ve had a cigarette. But recently, it seems that feeling has come back to me. That feeling of finding the perfect moment. What is that? I mean, what does it mean to find the perfect moment in time. I imagine if we did not measure time, maybe we would always be searching for that moment? For that special feeling when all seems right with the world. I have seen it on television and in movies. Take for example “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Doesn’t George have that moment at the end of the movie when everything aligns in his life? It’s a magical moment at the end of the film, where he’s singing and looking around realizing that it is a wonderful life. A life filled with bliss, pure joy, good friends and family.
This is something I have tried to attain over the years. That moment when everything was perfect. It’s a Zen-like feeling that I want, where it’s quiet and peaceful and there is nothing to distract me. I just am there. Just alive. And thankful for it. I know it’s weird, believe me. I think about odd things on a daily basis. But this one just suddenly popped up again for me. This idea of finding the perfect place, the perfect time, the perfect cup of coffee to enjoy a smoke. That feeling is back, minus the smoke, but the idea of that perfect place and time is still there. It’s like an obsession of sorts. I know that this moment will never arrive and that it has arrived over a period of a lifetime more than once. There have been moments in my life that I cherish and look back on and am so thankful for. And yet it seems it’s never enough does it? We want so much out of life that we don’t look around at what is going on in that moment and say to ourselves wow this is fantastic. I am alive! We don’t appreciate that very fact that wow… I am alive. That I am breathing!
There are times when I wonder if I could just have anything I wanted, the vacations the big house the fancy cars. If I had all of it would I still be searching for the perfect moment? Would you? If you could do or go or meet whomever you wanted would you be truly deeply happy. Which begs to ask what is happiness? Philosophically speaking what makes a life happy? Where do we go to find that perfect moment even when we have everything we could possibly want or need. I am far from wealthy I don’t have all that I want but I certainly have had many moments in my life where I was happy. Would those moments be considered perfect moments? I guess they would. I suppose we find it hard to accept that our lives are wonderful like George. He didn’t have a whole lot either but he had family and friends who cared about him. That would make his life perfect in my mind. It took him almost committing suicide in order for him to see just how wonderful his life was.
I don’t smoke anymore and don’t ever wish to start again. Yet it is funny, these ideas, of finding the perfect moment in time to have a perfect moment of peace by smoking a cigarette. How crazy is that? But I do recall how hard it was to deliver on that moment.
Now I feel as though finding the perfect moment in my life would be to find peace in my heart, to realize just how wonderful my life is and to be happy with that. To be able to fully enjoy each and every moment with those you love and to never wish for more than what is given to you right now! Because that perfect moment will never come and the obsession will become the meaning and then the meaning will be lost in the obsession. When in fact you have lived through so many moments in time that have been perfect in every way. The moments when connections were made and life just flowed without question or angst, it just was. It just is…if I could only try and live every day like that…as just the most meaningful moment in my life. Wow…how wonderful life would be.
Photo by travis on flickr – some rights reserved