Editor’s Note: Remember the good old days of blogging? We do. Quite a few writers and editors who have passed through Tweetspeak’s doors (or are still here) first began as personal bloggers when blogging was “a thing.” Many of these writers have let their blogs go dormant, changed directions towards a professional aim, or deleted their blogs altogether. So, there’s a whole stack of intriguing, inspiring, sometimes humorous material that’s just sitting in the dark. The Life Notes column is dedicated to bringing that material to light. Because, after all, each of us comes from the stories that made us. And these stories often shine in the retelling.
An L.L. Barkat blog post, October 10, 2011
What’s Your Happiest Moment?
We are sitting on a tapestried couch in a castle-like hotel. The side of the couch is high and velvety. I didn’t think I liked high-sided couches.
But here we are, my Littlest and I, lounging together. Her head is on my chest and I am feeling the absolute smallness of her hand, and how soft are her fingers.
“What is your happiest moment?” I remember the question I’d seen somewhere just the other day. This must be it, I think. Then I recall my Littlest child’s birth, how she came when no one was in the room but me, and the nurse had rushed in just in time to catch her and toss her onto my chest, and my new baby’s bareness was against me, warm and silent and motionless. And she blinked and I looked into her eyes for the first time, and I whispered, “You are so beautiful.”
Now I am remembering other times, places where I was alone with just one other person. And I think, “Maybe that was my happiest moment.” But then my writer-self interjects with grammatical thoughts about the “est” ending making it impossible to have more than one happiest moment.
Still later, I watch my Eldest touching the fall-dried grasses. The castle-hotel is a memory of two hours ago, and other rooms are lost to years. Here in the sunlight, on top of a great mountain, I can see for miles down the Hudson River, and it is breathtaking, but it is my girl touching the grasses and her smiling and whirling while she knows I’m photographing her… it is this that makes me think again, Maybe this is my happiest moment.
And suddenly I know that all my happiest moments are in a space, enclosed or wide-open, where it feels there is no space at all between me and just one other person. I know that the things I’ve done, like speaking to a crowd of 1, 300 people, is energizing in its way, but will never be one of my happiest moments.
I know this too. I cannot choose just one. I will never have a happiest moment, at least grammatically-speaking. Happiness cannot, for me, be counted.
Featured photo by James Folley, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post photos and blog post reprint by L.L. Barkat.