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The Now

2011 December 30
by Rachel Turiel

Greetings on the eve of a New Year.

(Unless you’re devoutly Jewish and celebrated the New Year of 5772 back in September).

Recently Rose was grating ginger—one hard-won sliver at a time—and she looked up proudly from her tiny pile of brown shards and said, “you might want to get your camera and take a picture, Mama.” And I laughed because it’s like that. Dan comes home from work and the kids giddily bum rush him at the door while I run the opposite way for my camera.

Sometimes I worry that in trying to record the moment, I miss the moment. When I began a writing practice in earnest 14 years ago, I started carrying a small pocket notebook to capture the details. One day, at the Durango Soup Kitchen, where I’d go for lunch and character study, my friend Alberta, who was 84 and routinely (and controversially) hauling home garbage bags bulging with donated baguettes for her alleyway pigeons, was telling me a story.

I frantically tried to record everything in my notebook: Alberta’s vernacular, how her eyes would crinkle up when she smiled, the way she always wore a knit hat even in June, how fellow soup-goer Phil would sit down next to her, remarking on something and Alberta would scowl, “WHAT DID HE SAY?” And it occurred to me that there was just the tiniest bit of irony in this frenzy to record The Now while it was being served, warm and fresh, like cookies from the oven.

And it’s still like that. Sometimes I’m driving and the kids are having the funniest, or most poignant, or sweetest conversation in the back seat and I want to etch it into my brain, to scan it in its entirety into my mental hard drive, because of course, of course Dad, I am not going to write it down while driving. And so I remind myself to just appreciate the humor, the poignancy, the sweetness of the moment. But, still, it tugs at me.

This blog is a repository of The Now – a place to store the details and the ordinary sweetness of our days. Writing this blog has been a tool to help slow the fast moving train of our lives long enough to see precisely how the morning sun glints off the sooty smokestack. Some days, most days, I need that.

So thank you readers for being here, for coming back, for participating. A most beautiful start of the new year to you all.

xo,

Rachel

Related posts:

Polishing memories
Notes from the West Coast
Indonesia: food and people


42 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 31, 2011

    yes i get this in a major way.

  2. December 31, 2011

    That photo is immeasurably sweet.

    Thank YOU for being here. Every visit here is a breath of fresh air. I always leave having laughed out loud or nodding as I read along – usually something about mamahood that is so familiar. Your soulful writing so very inspiring.

    Happy New Year, Rachel!

  3. December 31, 2011

    That photo is immeasurably sweet.

    Thank YOU for being here. Every visit here is a breath of fresh air. I always leave having laughed out loud or nodding as I read along – usually something about mamahood that is so familiar. Your soulful writing so very inspiring.

    Happy New Year, Rachel!

  4. December 31, 2011

    happy new year to you, too, rach. so glad you slow that train somewhere we can see. much love to you. xoxo

  5. December 31, 2011

    happy new year to you, too, rach. so glad you slow that train somewhere we can see. much love to you. xoxo

  6. December 31, 2011

    What Katie said! Every time I see a new post in my email inbox, I get giddy.

    The thing about living in the NOW vs. documenting it is that you get to re-live the moment later. Oh, and you get to share it with the world – or, your faithful and oh so thankful blog readers at least.

    That picture makes my heart swell.

  7. December 31, 2011

    What Katie said! Every time I see a new post in my email inbox, I get giddy.

    The thing about living in the NOW vs. documenting it is that you get to re-live the moment later. Oh, and you get to share it with the world – or, your faithful and oh so thankful blog readers at least.

    That picture makes my heart swell.

  8. December 31, 2011

    I love coming here, to the high peaks of Colorado. You words are a calming, hilarious, all the while ‘just what I needed’ whenever I’m here. Often, your stories and perfectly poetic lines follow me throughout my day. Happy New Year, friend. So, so glad you’re here.

  9. December 31, 2011

    I love coming here, to the high peaks of Colorado. You words are a calming, hilarious, all the while ‘just what I needed’ whenever I’m here. Often, your stories and perfectly poetic lines follow me throughout my day. Happy New Year, friend. So, so glad you’re here.

  10. abozza permalink
    December 31, 2011

    I, too, sometimes struggle to live in the now. Will be working hard at it in the New Year. Thank you for sharing your life with us in this blog!
    http://amysreallife.wordpress.com

  11. abozza permalink
    December 31, 2011

    I, too, sometimes struggle to live in the now. Will be working hard at it in the New Year. Thank you for sharing your life with us in this blog!
    http://amysreallife.wordpress.com

  12. Nana Judy permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Thank you so much for the year-long glimpses into your inner and outer lives.- all the diligence and creativity that capture the daily Now for all of us.

  13. Nana Judy permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Thank you so much for the year-long glimpses into your inner and outer lives.- all the diligence and creativity that capture the daily Now for all of us.

  14. December 31, 2011

    Blessings to you and your family in the new year! And, of course, right now, too.

  15. December 31, 2011

    Blessings to you and your family in the new year! And, of course, right now, too.

  16. December 31, 2011

    Definitely enjoying your blogs lately Rachel. I’ve had way too much time one my hands. I am really with you on today’s post. When I find myself in those most nectar-filled moments life give us I want to squeeze all the juice out of it I can. But maybe all the moments are just as full of the nectar and its merely a matter of attention to bring it out. I can understand your dilemma around recording these moments that can sometimes enhance one’s attention and other times eclipse it!

  17. December 31, 2011

    Definitely enjoying your blogs lately Rachel. I’ve had way too much time one my hands. I am really with you on today’s post. When I find myself in those most nectar-filled moments life give us I want to squeeze all the juice out of it I can. But maybe all the moments are just as full of the nectar and its merely a matter of attention to bring it out. I can understand your dilemma around recording these moments that can sometimes enhance one’s attention and other times eclipse it!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Ed – a pleasure to hear from you. Happy desert new year to you! ps: keep an eye out for my friend Claire in Moab: single mom, 2 kids, climber, awesome lady.

  18. December 31, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your lifes with all of us. May this next year be another fantastic adventure in life for you and your family.:)

  19. December 31, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your lifes with all of us. May this next year be another fantastic adventure in life for you and your family.:)

  20. December 31, 2011

    Have an awesome year! xo

  21. December 31, 2011

    Have an awesome year! xo

  22. December 31, 2011

    You express yourself so well and so beautifully! I love keeping up with your space. Happy new year, friend!

  23. December 31, 2011

    You express yourself so well and so beautifully! I love keeping up with your space. Happy new year, friend!

  24. December 31, 2011

    I wish you and your family Peace and Joy for the New Year and more Blessings than you can count :o)…Ginny

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Thank you Ginny, my internet granny!

  25. December 31, 2011

    I wish you and your family Peace and Joy for the New Year and more Blessings than you can count :o)…Ginny

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Thank you Ginny, my internet granny!

  26. January 1, 2012

    I agree. I’ve been bringing my camera less often when we head out on a hike. I can be in the moment and not bother the kids with photos, but then I don’t have a visual record when I want to share the experience.
    Also, when I look back at moments that occurred 10 to 20 years ago, photos really do help me remember specific events in more detail. I guess, it’s all about balance.

  27. January 1, 2012

    I agree. I’ve been bringing my camera less often when we head out on a hike. I can be in the moment and not bother the kids with photos, but then I don’t have a visual record when I want to share the experience.
    Also, when I look back at moments that occurred 10 to 20 years ago, photos really do help me remember specific events in more detail. I guess, it’s all about balance.

  28. Chi-An permalink
    January 2, 2012

    This reminds me of my most common excuse for not blogging, which is that I’m too busy living my life to record it. I do wish I made more time to blog and especially put in more photos. Far too often it falls of my list.

    Just catching up with your blog- I’ve been on vacation (physically out of town and most of the time off the Internet as well) and I’m sorry that I missed your trip to the Bay Area. I’m sure that you had many many people to see but someday when you’re here I’d love to meet up with you for, you know, some organic free-trade shade-grown decaf coffee ;)

    Happy new year!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Living is the real stuff. Blogging follows. And yes, count me in for a meet up someday. xo

  29. Chi-An permalink
    January 2, 2012

    This reminds me of my most common excuse for not blogging, which is that I’m too busy living my life to record it. I do wish I made more time to blog and especially put in more photos. Far too often it falls of my list.

    Just catching up with your blog- I’ve been on vacation (physically out of town and most of the time off the Internet as well) and I’m sorry that I missed your trip to the Bay Area. I’m sure that you had many many people to see but someday when you’re here I’d love to meet up with you for, you know, some organic free-trade shade-grown decaf coffee ;)

    Happy new year!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Living is the real stuff. Blogging follows. And yes, count me in for a meet up someday. xo

  30. January 5, 2012

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh rachel!!!! i love ya and the way you explain my heart for me. it’s so true, all of it.

  31. January 5, 2012

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh rachel!!!! i love ya and the way you explain my heart for me. it’s so true, all of it.

  32. January 8, 2012

    happy new year sweet lady, please enjoy kauai (did i spell that remotely correct??). hope 2012 is your best adventure yet.

    those island photos are amazing, i may have to fly there one day.

  33. January 8, 2012

    happy new year sweet lady, please enjoy kauai (did i spell that remotely correct??). hope 2012 is your best adventure yet.

    those island photos are amazing, i may have to fly there one day.

  34. January 11, 2012

    Thank you sharing your “nows” with us :)

  35. January 11, 2012

    Thank you sharing your “nows” with us :)

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