Life is a series of moments, strung together and laid out flat. If you paused for a second and looked at each one individually it would be like frames in a cartoon flip book. Each one looks slightly different from the one before it and after it, but you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you saw them in motion, one after the other. That’s life.
That couple at the grocery store were laughing last week. You took a mental picture. They seemed so happy, you wanted to save that moment for posterity.
The old man on the bench in the park had tears in his eyes. You noticed it without staring, but you wished you could go over to him, put your arm around his shoulders and tell him that everything was going to be okay, even if you knew it probably wouldn’t be.
The woman in front of you in line at the airport trips the metal detector. Agents drag her into a side room when she resists being patted down. You collapsed into the nearest chair after you got through with no incident, and you remembered the agony on her face. In that moment it seared itself into your brain.
These people are not just third person characters in the periphery of your lens. These moments aren’t random and isolated. There is a beginning and an end to their stories, but you don’t know either because your paths crossed in that moment. For you they all become isolated, and you could drive yourself crazy wondering how the stories end.
But that’s just it. That’s life. And you keep walking.