January 1, 2002. D and I walk out of the Chinese Restaurant downtown. It’s freezing. He looks at me, his eyes smiling…
And thus the anecdotal Golden Moment begins...
I could write the script of my man’s marriage proposal word for word. It’s so etched in my brain now that I sometimes wonder if it happened as I remember it, or if I made up some of the lines. I could make a highlight reel of my wedding day. And night.And the fantastic once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon that followed. I could provide a play-by-play of the births of each of my three sons: the one that was induced, the one that came sailing out, the one that waited until after the needle but before the epidural could kick in to arrive. Not just Golden, these moments were Platinum, true life-changers in every sense of the word.
Don’t get me wrong, 100% pure gold they were not. Throw a few lumps of coal into these experiences to really make them true to life. That whole “best of times, worst of times” speech couldn’t be more true or appropriate if I made it up myself. Which I did not. Maybe that would’ve been my Golden Moment.
And yet, as life-changing as they were, to relive the dawning of my life as a wife and mother seems so clichéd…
Breaking up with a live-in lover after 5 years of unhealthy obsessions? That was a Golden Moment. Reaching my goal at Weight Watchers (unrelated to the intense weight loss after said break-up)? Another Goldie. Scuba diving at night – at night!? Blindingly gold. Even reading a eulogy for my beloved Grandmother was a Golden Moment for me, twisted as that might sound.
Then there are the times that are more gold-plated. The ones I look back on and smile, sometimes smugly. My first titled job in film and my name in Variety? 18 karat. Returning to the Kibbutz 6 weeks after bidding my temp-o-life there Shalom forever? Zahav. Watching Bono and The Edge perform in front of 100 people while seated in the third row? Gold-Record Gold.
For me, the Golden Moments aren’t what we see in coffee commercials. At least none of my moments are. Rather, they’re the forks in the road. Whether less travelled or well-trod, they’re the paths taken that lead us in totally different directions. Choose left and you’re an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, with a ton of air-miles and no personal life. Choose right and you’ve got a loving family, a cottage business and ONLY a personal life. For better and for worse. Those forks in the roads are the life-changers. The Golden Moments. THE moments. Full stop. And let’s face it, many of them are far more tarnished than they are Golden.
I guess I needed to rattle off the Golden Oldies’ Greatest Hits because a side of me wonders if those were the good old days. Or maybe throwing down these glorious slices of life onto the page plays into my suspicions that I’m still waiting for the Big One. Or worse: what if the Golden Moment has already come and gone?
And what if I missed it?!
Can you imagine? What if, while waiting for my time to shine, for that stand-out moment that would change my life – and possibly the world - for all eternity, I blinked? Would the moment be gone forever? Would I miss my chance to be something? Or someone? Someone other than who I am?
I guess what it comes down to is that life is full of so many Moments - golden, bronzed, and tarnished to shit. And you never know which are the real life changers until after they happen. At least I don’t. Retrospect is a beautiful thing. Weddings, divorces, births, and deaths. Travels, friendships, books and films. Even the blackest of moments become golden when they’re over. Because they’re over. And we’ve made it through. The beauty of life is the alchemy that helps keep us going. Turning crap into gold and hoping it sticks. Maybe it’s coming to this realization that makes up my Golden Moment. Or maybe it’s all just Fool’s Gold.