The Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata) Symbolizes That Moment Between Us

DSC_6142© 2017 City of Broken Dreams

Maybe there was a moment between us.

If there was, then that’s all it was—just a moment: a fleeting fraction of an instant in our briefly intersecting lives.

And I’m not even talking about a kiss.

No, there was no pressing of lips, no wet lashing of tongues, no exchange of electricity via our breath.

It would have been a more subtle kind of moment. A shared glass of wine. The prolonged touching of knees. Maybe even just a passing look.

But as quickly as it came, it would have then disappeared. Like a drop of water fallen onto a hot element. The moment evaporated; the experience vaporized from the present tense and converted to a state of the past. 

Perhaps the moment lingered in the air for a bit, afterwards. Like smoke from an extinguished flame, or the sweet scent of a woman trailing behind her after she has just walked out of a room. If the moment was ever a tangible one, once it passed, it became ephemeral. And there would have been no use in trying to grasp onto it as it fled the scene of the crime. For the moment was never meant to be captured or imprisoned. The moment was never meant to last.

Maybe the moment became a ghost. The reality of the experience long dead, but the memory of it still extant albeit as a faded, nebulous apparition of its former self. If the moment still haunts me, then it’s not a particularly angry or even melancholy kind of ghost. It is simply a residual haunting: just the phantasmal moment occasionally replaying itself within the confines of my own haunted mind.  

The length of time that the moment will haunt me will vary from occasion to occasion. There are multiple factors that will determine the persistence of the memory. Some of these factors will stem from within my own psychology: my current need for sentimentality, the perception of my own loneliness, the salubrity of the multi-dimensional sense my of self-esteem. But the inherent nature of the actual moment will also play a role, too. Where did the moment take place? How long did the moment last? Was there music in the air as the moment played on?

Some variables will insignificantly influence the endurance of the moment’s memory. While other variables will only serve to sustain and extend the lifetime of the moment—perhaps for even a longer period of time than I would have ever expected. And depending on my current emotional disposition, the temperament of the moment’s longevity (i.e., short versus long) will either leave me with a slight maudlin yearning, or it will barely have the faculty to make even the slightest of an impression upon my conscious thoughts.

But regardless of the moment’s persistence, in the end, the moment will always eventually fade away. Until there is nothing left but an absence, a passive void of subconscious anticipatory waiting. An absence that will perhaps one day be filled by yet another moment and yet another fading memory.


Red-crested cardinal (Paroaria coronata) spotted and photographed: 01/31/17, 11:41:19; Wailuku, Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States.

Camera specifications: 1/200 sec at f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 100.

Classification of the moment: fleeting.

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