Slice of Life Tuesday: “It’s always right now.”


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Last Saturday, my husband and I finally got around to watching Boyhood.  Although I was familiar with the film’s premise, and had been listening to podcasts with the director and cast of actors, I wasn’t prepared for the powerful way in which I would be moved and affected by the experience.  In scene after scene, I felt as though I was watching my own three children growing up and going through the phases of their lives.

When we arrived at the scene in which Mason and Samantha, all dressed up as their favorite Harry Potter characters, arrive at their decorated to the nines school to pick up their own copies of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, I really felt as though I was watching a home movie of the very same event with my own children.  We were lucky to live through those Harry Potter years – obsessively reading the books together, designing Hogwarts worthy costumes for Halloween, gaming how we would position ourselves to be first in line for the next book, the next movie.  It was magical.

But, I think that the real power of  Boyhood came from the way in which those twelve years flew by.  As brand new empty nesters, I often walk by my kids’ empty bedrooms and wonder, “where did the time go? did we make the most of it?”  Watching Mason and Samantha grow up in the span of about three hours, I was struck by the fact that what stayed with me long after the movie was over were all the small moments: the quiet conversations and moments of silent togetherness while doing dishes, reading stories, hiking, or sitting around strumming a guitar.  At the movie’s end, one of the characters talks about allowing oneself to be seized by the moment – the here and now.

I’ve been thinking about the movie and this particular idea  ever since.  So often, we think that the important moments of our lives somehow stand out because they are the big, grand, moments – the ones we take pictures of and celebrate.  But Boyhood makes me recognize something else in a quietly profound way; the fabric of our lives is woven out of  a collection of those small moments, and how “in the moment” have I been/am I being?

As I close my eyes and imagine myself walking from empty bedroom to empty bedroom and then through the rooms of our house, I’m remembering the small moments with my children.  And then, I do the same with my classroom, with the children who have “lived” there these past twelve years, among the desks and comfy chairs and books.  And then I remember the words from the final scene in Boyhood, when Mason and his friend take in the sunset on his first day of college life and say: “the moment seizes us…it, constant, the moments…it’s always right now.”

I want to hang on to that thought.

PS. I was thrilled to find that scene on YouTube and had to include it – pardon the effusively enthusiastic inappropriate language at it’s very beginning.


22 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: “It’s always right now.”

  1. Your questions “where did the time go? did we make the most of it?” have haunted me for many years as I reflect on my son’s life with us. I’m afraid that I didn’t make the most of it. So I am determined that with the newest grandchild, I will be able to say yes, we did make the most of it.

  2. Small moments, YES! I loved that movie and when I heard your feelings about it, I am sure that I want to revisit it. Of course I didn’t raise kids but the speed of time is universal. How to best take charge of it. Good issue!

  3. Oh my goodness! I’ve heard a lot about this movie and haven’t seen it yet. You certainly make me want to, and since I’m a recent empty-nester, I’m sure I’ll be affected by it the way you were!

  4. Tara, your Slice really hit home for me today. I Sliced about the same thing – in a different way. I’m in the moments… and I’m watching them slip by, moment by moment.

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I do want to. I just know that it will make this “watching of the moments slip by” a little more painful for me. I just don’t ever want any of my moments to end. 🙂

  5. Oh Tara, your like “the fabric of our lives is woven out of a collection of small moments,” should be our mantra (and teeshirt) for this year’s SOL in March! I tried to tell someone who was out of their minds over the storm that this was just a blip on the screen of life (even before it was just a blip). Yet, in reality, it’s all just a bunch of blips. Some impact others but they are all just moments. How quickly it all passes.

  6. I hadn’t even heard of this movie. It sounds great. I don’t my kids to grow up. Stay this age. Now I sound like my mum.

  7. I watched this movie with my two boys and husband this morning on our snow day. I then read your post! I connected in all the same ways except I still have mine at home. I want to remember those words “the moment seizes us…it, constant, the moments…it’s always right now.” and live them every day! Beautiful post!!
    Thank you

  8. ‘grow up in the span of about three hours’…it really didn’t seem long enough. I love the whole idea of seizing the moment. I do kind of see the moments as snapshots in a photo album . I want to see this one…with at least one of my adult children. xo

  9. Perfect thought provoking slice! I had just finished reading an article about this movie this past weekend and my husband and I were toying with renting this moving on demand! I think you’ve sold me. What I admire about your piece here was how you wove your sons into the documentary as you reflected on it. This must be the biggest reason this movie is conquering people recently. I would love to glimpse my future in it.

  10. I loved Boyhood when I saw it in the theaters, and your post makes me love it even more. Life is so fast, and so slow–the movie did a wonderful job of stretching out the important moments and highlighting some of the universal struggles and celebrations. I love your reflections on all of it. Beautiful, Tara!

  11. Sigh… I honestly have been avoiding this movie. With my son graduating this year, I just didn’t think I could handle it. But, your post has made me realize this is a movie not to be missed.

  12. Our lives are just blips on the screen. We documents all the special moments, but seem to glaze over those small moments that are truly meaningful. I’ll have to check out this movie and share it with Michelle.

  13. I think we’ll always miss those moments of “silent togetherness.” As my children get older, I find myself seizing every opportunity for to be captured by the moment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so beautifully today, Tara.

  14. I love this piece. I always love your slices. Am dying to see this film. My favorite line from your slice is the one about your realization that it is about the small moments. I will soon be an empty nester- your words tugged at my heart.

  15. Great reminder to pay attention to the small moments; to let the moments seize us! Discover those small moments and then make the most of them!

  16. I enjoyed your vision of this journey, Tara, such a special task in our lives to see those little things/moments. I suspect Boyhood will make me a little teary, but I’m still finding the moments, too. Thank you!

  17. Tara, I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I know I must make time for it. Your comments take me back to our OLWs for last year – pause and savor. It’s so important to treasure the moments. Your Harry Potter memories made me smile. We lived those books with our two also – late night bookstore purchases, shipping one to Chile when daughter was there on a study abroad. Just last week my husband and I recalled standing for hours for a midnight showing with lines snaking through several blocks of downtown Seattle – now all new construction except for the Cinerama which is still there. I agree with Anita about using your line for this year’s SOL in March – “…the fabric of our lives is woven out of a collection of those small moments!”

  18. I haven’t seen this yet. I will feel like you do, I’m sure. Where did the time go? So fleeting, those growing up years. I wish I had savored more of the small moments. Maybe if I had been blogging back then…

  19. Craziness has descended on me again (which means lots of traveling) but I just wanted to say how this so captured what I felt seeing that movie, too (on the plane to Doha). Virginia Woolf called them ‘moments of being’ and in the end they’re all we have and all that matters.

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