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Gypsy Girl Mosaic, Gaziantep, Turkey (circa 0)
" … a little richer for my Lasting."

For me, last impressions stay with me longer than first ones. My first impressions tend to get fogged by my native inattention, more distractions than information. There's just so much to see when first encountering something that I'm rarely certain upon what I should be focusing my attention. I'm the type who, when visiting The Grand Canyon, leaves with the deepest impression of some otherwise trivial something that somehow seemed special in that context, like the bathroom configuration. I remember exits, though, especially those informed by a lengthy stay. When leaving, I know what's special about a place and if it impressed me, I press my face up against the glass and attempt to peer into it, as if to capture some essence of it, just as if I could. As The Muse and my departure date approaches, I catch myself Lasting, performing that peering trick just as if it might allow me to take the best of this place with me once I leave. Yesterday, we took the last drive down Lookout Mountain Road, my go-to secret passage narrow two-lane switchback backdoor route down into Golden. It was often more convenient and doubtless the most scenic. Eighteen minutes down to the flats. I'll very likely never be back again. Goodbye, old friend. You left a Lasting impression, or maybe I was the one who captured it peering into your window.

Lastings seem the most fleeting experiences.
There one second and gone forever the next. Nobody ever gets a second chance to capture any Lasting impression. It lasts or not depending upon something mysterious. I cannot call a do-over if my attention wained when looking. I seem to open up a special place in my ancient memory banks as if I were capturing something and knew where I might store it for future reference. However much I might want to add this impression into my permanent collection, I'll never know if I succeeded until long after I've lost all opportunity to try or even try again to capture it. What a silly being I seem, even to myself.

My attempts at Lasting represent loving homage, I guess. If you impressed me, I attempt payback by invoking a Lasting. You'd never know if I was doing that to you, with you, trying to extend that moment into infinity or longer. I take few photos, the modern method for failing to capture moments. I usually rely upon bare observation, figuring that even if I successfully snapped an image, I'd very likely lose it or just notice how very unlike it was to what I'd intended it to represent. My memory, mysterious though it might be, seems to second guess how it was better than does even a high quality photograph, though the purpose of photography might be to not to actually capture how it was but to prompt memories of how it actually seemed in that fleeting Lasting instant. Memory's more accurate and much more Lasting.

I know from the outset that my effort's futility incarnate. I will forget and I acknowledge that I've never successfully captured any fleeting moment. Reflecting later might spark more emotion than imagery, for I see most prominently with my heart. I admit that I never truly loved this place, this pre-planned final stop before ending our long exile and getting on with actual SettlingInto, but packing up reminded me just how much of me had actually been SettlingInto here, though I'd never tell. SettlingInto some place intended as tenuous seems somehow scandalous, a subtle sin I secretly wish no one else to ever suspect I committed. In my defense, I find it impossible to not come to love anyplace I hang my hat for long. Short visits seem to leave little for me to imprint upon, but a few short years, like we lived here, provide ample anchor for me to seek some Lasting as I exit. Some of me will doubtless stick here forever, so I'll start my long-targeted SettlingInto a little lighter than I otherwise might have, but also a little richer for my Lasting.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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