Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Kodak moment

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing a new production of The Music Man – that delightful musical romp through small town Iowa. The story centers on a traveling con man selling musical instruments and band uniforms to gullible citizens who have been taken by his charm. Along the way he manages to transform the repressed townsfolk and redeem himself in the process.

But for me there was a more significant message in the story.

Near the end, as Professor Hill is falling for Marian the Librarian, he says something to the effect of…”I don’t want tomorrow to come without making a memory today.”

Hmmm. For lighthearted theatre, that was a fairly profound thought. And it gave me pause. In today’s frantic, cyber-linked world, how often do any of us make time to create a memory? It’s really not about a shortage of hours in the day, but rather a lack of inclination.

Speaking for myself, I am very guilty of living an inward life. I am at ease in my own company. Which translates to: it’s easier to amuse myself than to get off my duff. I prefer to call it cocooning but what I fear is that I’m losing the thrill of spontaneity, the joy of fresh connections, the anticipation of trying something new.

I am not a hermit. I have many friends and varied interests. But you know what? I can’t remember when I last put a recent picture of a special time into a photo album. Where are my Kodak moments?

Of course that’s a metaphor. It’s impossible to take a picture of a squeal of laughter. Or to capture on film a spirited discussion. Special occasions don’t have to be holidays or vacations or birthday parties. They can be small moments of magic that won’t happen without a little effort.

Here’s my thought starter list for making memories:

- Take a tap dancing class.
- Call a friend you haven’t seen since high school.
- Plan a block party and get to know neighbors you’ve never met.
- Slip a love note into your sweetheart’s pocket/purse/backpack.
- Take a guided moonlight hike through a nature preserve.
- Flip open a cookbook and make the first recipe you see.
- Read poetry to a child or a grandparent.
- Take some friends to a grassy knoll and roll down it like you did when you were a kid.
- Leave a Saturday unplanned and see what unfolds.

Okay, those are my ideas. What are yours?

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