That’s probably one of my all-time favorite quotes from a book or movie. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite. Sometimes, you come across a line in a book that just hits you. This quote is one of those for me. In the book, Charlie (the wallflower) has his infinite moment while driving through a tunnel with his two best friends Patrick and Sam, a brother and sister who have taken Charlie under their wings. Charlie is in love with the Sam and she with him. It is the first time he can remember feeling happy in a long time. It’s a beautiful scene, made even more beautiful in the movie with Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.
Every time I think of this quote, it means something a little different to me. We’ve all had those moments, the ones that seem to stretch on forever. They can be moments of such pure happiness, when all is right with the world. It may only be for that moment, but it feels infinite. Those are the times you feel the most grounded and the most connected. That’s how I feel when I step onto the beach, all by myself. I’m convinced that I’m at least part mermaid. The brown sugar sand under my toes, the cool lap of waves on my feet. And when I’m floating in the ocean, my eyes just above the water, the ocean itself seems infinite. That’s when I feel the most connected to the world. It’s why I love the feel of sand on my skin, the salt on my skin… it reminds me of that moment and it lets me carry it with me just a little bit longer.
Infinite moments can be beautiful ones, like Charlie’s infinite moment, like my moments at the beach. But some of those moments are intensely sad. Those, too, can seem as if they are infinite, spiraling away from all that’s good. I’ve had some of those, too. In 2015, my mother died from a trifecta of cancers at the end of April. The road leading there was long and hard in so many ways. But I didn’t really have time to work through it all when my father took a turn for the worse. He suffered from a duo of cancers himself. Five weeks after my mother’s passing, almost to the day, my dad passed. It was ironic, really, the timing. My parents had been divorced, rather contentiously, for more than 27 years, 10 years longer than they were married. But more than that, it meant that I was overwhelmed. My head reeled and it was a dark time for me as I struggled to work through all kinds of things. There were a lot of infinite moments in those days, dark moments. But there were moments of infinite happiness, too, the kind that slowly healed me. Like the day a couple months after my dad passed, when my husband and kids through me a full-scale graduation ceremony. I’d missed mine. I’d been back home for most of my last semester, taking care of my parents and all that needed to be done in the aftermath. So, they dressed me up in my cap and gown, wrote speeches, set up chairs and a lecturn in the backyard. Graduation music played through someone’s iPhone and graduation began. My oldest wore his cap and gown from his recent Masters’ graduation, my husband wore the kid’s college cap and gown. And I graduated. It was the best infinite moment I had had in far too long.
That’s the beauty of this quote… it reminds me that even the sad moments, no matter how infinite they may seem, is still just a moment.
What are some of your favorite book quotes?