I like Esterly’s skillful account of how the vividness of moments scrambles the natural order of past and present in our memories. Vividness can bring the past to the fore and make the present appear like a long-cherished memory even as it happens.

This happens to me often in acutely happy or moving moments, a sudden awareness, as at arm’s length, that this moment is powerful and will last. It has a kind of slow motion effect as if your life is suddenly a film reel running before your eyes, before you step back into it and become part of it again.

‘Sometimes moments in the past are so vivid that they seem to be happening in the present. Sometimes moments in the present have such haunting splendor that they seem to be happening in the past. As if you see them with your own memory. As if they were their own elegy.’ 

See also our quote-rich celebration of David Esterly’s magnificent book, The Lost Carving.


Source: David Esterly, The Lost Carving: A Journey to the heart of making (New York: Penguin, 2013), p. 278

Photo credit: WalterClark at pixabay


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