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Welcome to 'From the Present Moment'

In the Moment

I've been writing a lot lately, mostly for myself. Having a child has pushed me into an introspective headspace, and it's rare to not spend at the very least a few moments writing about the process of watching her grow.

Her rapid development is exhilarating but also bittersweet. With each new milestone, I mourn a little for the phase that has just ended. I find myself constantly trying to hold on to fleeting moments, to imprint them in my memory before they slip away. A specific laugh, a unique facial expression, some developmental milestone. In an instant, they're gone, replaced by new quirks and new capabilities.

Watching her grow reminds me that I too am changing day by day, evolving into a new version of myself — and the current version, soon to be the past version, deserves to be chronicled and remembered.

So, I'm starting this little space, to chronicle the current moment, both for myself and for Luna. Each entry will be a snapshot of now, capturing a piece of the present before it slips away. Some of it will be specifically about her. Some of it will be about me. Some of it will be about the things that I'm experiencing, be it books, movies, or essays that I take in while she putters around on the floor in front of me or dozes sleepily on my chest.

My hope is that by paying close attention to the life that I'm living, by trying to put some of these fleeting moments into words, I'll be able to hold on to them just a little bit longer. Mostly though, I just want a space to imprint the present — to appreciate and remember it as it is, right now.

To give the present my full attention, before it slips away.

Luna // Seven Months Old

Luna is learning to stand. It's all she wants to do. She crawls over to me, and starts putting herself in this funny position, one knee bent, the other one attempting to elevate her body into a standing position. I recognize the stance, as it's very much what I do to get up from the ground, and it's uncanny to see it performed by a tiny human, only half aware of what she's doing or why she's trying to do it.

She can't stand alone, which is why she comes to me. I put her hands in mine, and instantly she pushes off the ground and stands upright, relying on my arms to keep her from toppling over. Her little legs wobble as she finds her balance, grasping my fingers tightly. I can see the determination in her eyes as she wills her body to cooperate. Once she's (sort of) stable, a huge smile breaks across her face. She looks so proud of this simple act, so thrilled to be vertical and surveying her surroundings from this new vantage point.

She mostly spends this time on her tip toes, her tiny feet taking shaky, shuffling steps back and forth. Sometimes she spies something on a table now at eye level, and starts to reach for it. Her eagerness overrides her balance, and she starts to fall.

It's a delicate dance, an intricate interplay of tiny muscles and joints, nerves and will. The mind commands the body to do something so seemingly basic, and yet it takes such effort and coordination.

For us towering adults, it's automatic.

For Luna, it's a triumph.

What I Watched

I've seen a lot of movies this year. I'll write up an explanation for that at some point soon in the coming weeks. But for now, here are some of the films I've been watching:

American Hustle: The narrative, loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal, serves as a backdrop for a more personal exploration of ambition, survival, and the elusive nature of truth. Russell seems less interested in the mechanics of the con and more in the overarching con itself that is the human tendency to deceive and be deceived.

After Hours: A Kafkaesque journey, where every turn leads to increasingly bizarre and frustrating predicaments. I…didn't like it very much! But maybe that's beside the point. The protagonist's descent into the night's chaos mirrors some deeper truths about life itself, and even though it's 'not for me', I have to admit that the claustrophobic urgency of the film is extremely captivating.

Point Break: A curious blend of adrenaline and contemplation, wrapped in the veneer of a 90s action flick. A movie that challenged the genre's norms but also ended up defining them. A mediation on identity and the allure of the extreme. The main character's name is Johnny Utah! 10/10.

What I Played

Cocoon centers itself around a fascinating mechanic where orbs encapsulate entire worlds. Each orb, when discovered, is not just an object but a gateway to an entirely new realm, each with its own unique environment and puzzles. The world-within-an-orb mechanic plays with our understanding of space and scale, making the player feel both omnipotent and humbled by the vastness contained within each world. The art style of the game deserves special mention – it's not just visually stunning but also contributes to the overall atmosphere of curiosity, exploration, and an ever so slight sense of foreboding.

Speaking of being in the moment, John Gruber's explanation of what it feels like to watch Spatial Video on a Vision Pro is striking:

I can’t describe it any better today than I did in June: it’s like watching — and listening to — a dream, through a hazy-bordered portal opened into another world…the ones I shot myself were more compelling, and took my breath away. There’s my friend, Joanna, right in front of me — like I could reach out and touch her — but that was 30 minutes ago, in a different room.

As soon as the Spatial Video feature appears on my phone, I'll be turning it on. If I could give one piece of advice to new parents — well, that would actually be to seriously invest in good burp cloths. If I could give two pieces of advice to new parents, the second would be to make sure that you take plenty of videos, and not just photos. I look back on the photos of Luna's early days with fondness, but any videos I took almost always bring me to tears. A photo lets you remember a thing that's now just a memory, but a video lets you re-experience that memory. I can't imagine how it will feel to have a three-dimensional window into Luna's first Christmas, many years from now.

That's all for now.

From the present moment,

~ Drew

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