Chasing Moments


Chasing Moments


Moment /noun/


  1. a brief amount of time of harmony and balance in your personal universe and experience
  2. an unplanned or spontaneous positive experience



Nature provides the best moments. Just before the sun rises at the beach, the night sky and stars continue to fill the sky.  The sand is cool and the waves lap on the shore.  The moment before the sun breaks the horizon, the sky with all its stars transforms instantaneously into a soft blue, gray that fills every part of the sky.  Nature provides this show every morning for those people willing to wake up early, but the reward and the solitude make the event worth the inconvenience.


People provide genuine moments in common places at common times.  An inexperienced American is travelling in China with his Chinese girlfriend on the sleeper train; the bunks are stacked four high with a small aisle to move people and bags through the train.  A Chinese mother catches the American’s attention and passes down her child from a top bunk with a trusting smile.  The child calmly accepts the situation as his mother collects their bags to depart the train.  This moment illustrates trust and our mutual experience as people in the world despite physical, linguistic, and cultural boundaries.


Animals provide moments to those willing to slow down long enough to take notice.  Pets don’t apply in this case, because pets have been domesticated and adapted to life with people.  Wild animals act of their own accord and retain an unpredictability to their behavior.  During a weekday visit to the Washington D.C. zoo, a female cheetah behaved like a pet in the big cat exhibit.  Cheetahs can move silently.  The zoo was empty; it was a school day and everyone else was at work.  The enclosure appeared empty as the animals were all napping for the afternoon.  The cheetah appeared at the edge of the fence sitting on her haunches, same as any house cat.  She didn’t turn her head to look at the person standing still, two feet away, on the other side of the fence.  The cheetah wasn’t large, but exuded power, grace, and majesty.  The cheetah slowly walked away as I lifted my camera for a photo, as to say, “Keep this experience in your head and your heart, but don’t reduce our meeting to a photo for other people.”


Moments represent small, significant chunks of time.  Major life events do not equal moments, because they involve premeditation and expectation.  Moments appear and disappear like a beautiful ghost.  The ghost always leaves a feeling or impression behind.  The magic of our natural world gives moments in predictable cycles.  People display the best features of humanity for brief moments of time.  At times, wild animals stop to recognize a kindred spirit in our humanity and take notice.  Time behaves differently during moments, usually slowing down or coming to a stop.  A great artist has the talent to record moments for others with the time and patience to translate the artist’s experience into the viewer’s/listener’s consciousness.


Chasing moments involve placing oneself in a time and place where moments might happen.  Chasing the moment proves impossible and implies some prior knowledge of the event.  Prior knowledge contaminates the experience and makes it common.  A real moment appears without warning like a welcome guest you weren’t expecting to meet.  Once the event happens, we have few precious minutes to reflect and decide what it all meant; moments and dreams reflect each other that way.  Moments combine dreams and reality in our waking life.  Once experienced, we crave to revisit that elusive place where dreams and reality coexist.




에드워드 네이

노스캐롤라이나 출신인 에드워드 네이는 엔지니어링을 전 공했다. 현재 제주도에서 초, 중학교의 EFL 선생님으로 활 동 중이다. 신문기자 아버지와 사서인 어머니의 영향으로 항상 주변에 책이 함께하는 삶을 살았다. 독서를 즐기는 그 에게 문학은 친근한 친구이자, 머리가 복잡할 때 머리를 비 워주기도 하는 명상의 수단이다. 이전부터 머리 속에 맴도 는 이야기들을 씨위드를 통해 처음으로 대중에게 글로써 선보이게 되었다.

Edward Nye

Edward Nye is an American from North Carolina. Currently working as an EFL teacher on Jeju Island. Edward's dad was a newspaper editor and his mom was a librarian.  They always had books in the house and Ed read a lot through high school and college for entertainment. Writing was always a personal mental exercise and a chance to play with language. This essay is Edward's first submission for any kind of publication.  Poetry always came easy for him, but just as a way to "empty my head" when the ideas got crowded.  Edward studied engineering after high school and neglected reading and writing for entertainment because of the associated workload with engineering study.  His interest renewed in literature while preparing to start a second career in Secondary English Education in 2003. The university offered superb courses in Shakespeare, Don Quixote, Beowulf, and Russian literature. This essay has been developing in his mind for a while and Edward appreciates this opportunity to present it as a complete idea for others to read. 

성실한 것에 대한 무의미한 태도
삶을 담아낸 말, 셔머샤 네이
누구나를 위한, 그러나 아무나는 아닌
변방의 울림: <MAPPLETHORPE + 25>전에 부쳐  
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