“I wish we could sometimes love the characters in real life as we love the characters in romances. There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.”
― G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America
When I first read this quote, I felt it resonate with my romantic inclinations. If I hear a touching song or see a timely sunset, the moment, regardless of how plain or typical, is liable to be transformed for me. I love this part of being an adult... I don't have to worry any more if my peers think I'm odd for being moved to tears by the site of a father pushing his little one on a swing or the sound of the wind rustling through the brittle Fall leaves. And if my husband chuckles at my expense, I am not offended... only grateful for the deep friendship that allows it.
In spite of my aspirations to scrapbook every waking moment of the lives of my family, I am not so successful at it. But I have it in my mind and heart. There is at least one moment in each day when I sit and enjoy the sites and sounds and smells. I mentally see the memories edited into a movie or novel with appropriate music added. The woman next to me who smells like roses has a perfect place in the narrative. The man shouting obnoxiously in my ear at a youth sporting event makes me laugh. Well, he doesn't always make me laugh but I am learning to laugh more frequently at him... with a humor that inspires fondness rather than bitterness.
I have wrestled with the oddness of this practice of mine for a while. I wondered if I was trying to make life into something more than it was. And then I realized that God's vision is the most colorful, beautiful vision possible and I am only seeing a little more clearly when I take those moments. The teenager in me who fought hard to retain a tight grip on dull gray everything is gone. And God's creative majesty has opened up just a little more before me.
I love blogs and scrapbooks, video logs, memory books. It is a great blessing to take a moment in time and save it for future reflection. Those are moments when God's goodness is revealed just a little bit more each time we laugh and cry over them. Contrary to the thought that it leads us to become focused on the past or "glory days", I think of it more as recognizing what blessings we missed the first time through.
Although I struggled with the strangeness of my "sappy" tendency to make a moment into a living scrapbook memory, I have finally accepted it. Because, if I never do take that picture or video, at least I have lived it. And hopefully, have recognized in the moment or individual some of the wonder and grandeur of the beauty of God. It also doesn't hurt my efforts to love those around me; not to gloss over difficulties, but to allow their God-given goodness to be revealed in a stronger light, leaving the negatives in the shadows. In my better moments, the grumpy clerk strikes me as someone who desperately needs a word of hope and kindness. I grumble less and laugh more. I won't talk about my lesser moments, of which there are multitudes... you can just use your imagination there.
I am a wannabe Catholic Pollyanna. I want to see rainbows through the lamp prisms. I want to wear Christ-colored glasses in a suffering word... allowing me to see God's plan through my overshadowing faults and the grey of the world. Different than fantasizing about an altered life... it is rather a clarifying of reality. My Catholic romance.