The Big Moments

I have been to see the film ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ based on the book by Audrey Niffenegger. I have not read the book. I meant to, but my “to read” list is laughably large… especially when one takes into consideration how many other things I have to do in a day. I feel, however, I will have to add this read to my ever growing pile anyway for I am now highly intrigued.

In the story Henry is an involuntary time traveler. He can not choose his destinations. He can not decide when he will disappear out of his current LIFE or where he will end up in his past or his future. The only constant is that he is often (but not always) revisits what can only be described as the “big moments”: the death of his mother, the day he meets the girl who will become his greatest love, etc. A force not unlike gravity continuously pulls him back to those places in time… those seconds that feel like an eternity and can never be forgotten. He, now the spectator, relives them as they were because he can not change what already occurred.

"He said something interesting: he said that he thinks there is only free will when you are in time, in the present. He says in the past we can only do what we did, and we can only be there if we were there." ~Audrey Niffenegger

Truthfully, while I did enjoy the film, once this fact of Henry’s time jumping was revealed I found it difficult to concentrate on all but one thing:

I’ve been working my way through this game we call “LIFE” and I’ve had my fair share of moments… big and small… good and bad. School. Marriage. Kids. Jobs. Home. Bankruptcy. Foreclosure. Divorce. I haven’t, however, collected any major accomplishment LIFE tiles along my game board. I haven’t written the great American novel. I haven’t found the cure for the common cold. I haven’t won the Nobel Peace Prize. I haven’t discovered a new planet and I haven’t, thank God, become president. And, I think it is quite obvious at this point that I will not be retiring to Millionaire Estates.

In looking back, were I to time travel to my past, what would be my big moments? What would I be forced to relive all while looking in as an outsider? What would be the ratio of good moments to bad? If I could select my moments, I would. I have a few that need… clarification. Did they truly happen as I recall them or has my imagination glorified a few and played down others in order to preserve my own sanity? Would I find (and I’m quite sure I would) that what was a big moment for me was only a blip on the radar of the other LIFE players on the board?

“It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment - but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?” ~Lord Byron

LIFE’s big moments. What are yours?


  1. It's funny how sometimes the Interwebs could be in perfect synchronicity with what's going on in my life. Just before reading your post, I was looking at my kids (they're at the office with me today) thinking about the milestones in my life, and how I had to make a list of my important milestones years ago in my B.A... And how I still was missing some of the most important milestones at that point.

    I guess it's back to the list now... ;-)

  2. Aside from the obvious, I think the biggest moments are ones we probably can't remember without some prodding. Moments that changed everything, only we didn't realize they would.

  3. LeSombre ~ It is eerily strange how often I stumble across a blog post I need to read at just that moment. I merely chalk it up to fate and wander on about my way. What did we do before the grand blogosphere was available to us?

    Finn ~ This is EXACTLY the reason I did not include a list of my own big moments in the post. I intended to do just that and then I realized... the big moments that I think were big moments may have been highly emotionally charged, but were they really the pivotal ones? No, I don't think they were. I believe it is the more subtle moments that, in the end, have the biggest impact.

  4. Good post Beth... I think we're always comparing ourselves and that's hard sometimes, especially if we had wished to accomplish something someone else has. I was just thinking recently that my mind has cataloged the oddest moments in my past, little things that obviously are tied to moments that meant something but they aren't the big moments.

  5. Thanks Lisa! I love the "odd moments" because they are far more interesting... life changing or not. =)


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


Blog Widget by LinkWithin