Using the Moment

The breakfast table was beside the window, and the sun caught the facets of the glass butter dish, setting them aglow. The butter on the toast melted in puddles, the shape of continents. The minute hand on the clock clicked from one designated minute to the next. It would go on like that all hour, all day. This is what happiness is, thought Nancy. And while so much of what she thought and felt went into her writing, she knew she'd never make use of this moment. It was hers to be remembered, hers alone.   ~from The Writing Circle, by Corrine Demas

Yesterday afternoon I spent almost an hour in the rocking chair, my two week old grandson cradled in my arms, rocking him and singing softly while he gazed raptly at the multicolored lights on the Christmas tree. As much as I love words and believe in their power, I don't have words within me to adequately describe that kind of happiness.

There are moments in life that defy written description. But the sensation of those moments becomes indelibly impressed on the writer and inform her senses and her emotions. While she may not consciously "use" them in her work, the way they change her experience is likely to be conveyed at some point in her writing.

My experiences with my grandson in the past two weeks have been deeply emotional and profoundly personal. While I may never write about them in detail, they have left a mark on my heart and in my soul that will change the way I see the world.

And the way I write about it.

How about you? Are there moments you'll never consciously "use" in your writing, but that will nevertheless have a huge impact on it?