Had one of those my God I’m alive moments before while I was doing the dishes. You know the feeling – suddenly struck by your own being and consciousness and it's almost too much to bear.
I was suddenly so aware of the warm water, the bubbles sliding over my hands and the feeling of my skin beginning to pucker and wrinkle from prolonged submersion. Strange evening light shining though the window and everything wonderful and too much, overwhelming and you want that bittersweet pang to stop but never to end at the same time.
When the moment had passed (as these moments inevitably do), I began to wonder what, if anything, had triggered it. Was it the strange quality to the light outside? The music playing in the background? Both of those things, or perhaps none?
I wonder now, as I’m writing this, if these moments are so fleeting because we can’t handle them. Some kind of self-preservation thing, perhaps? Maybe our brains cannot cope with being aware of ourselves for too long, somehow hyperconscious, so it shuts down, turns away, and we start to think instead about what’s for dinner. The moment is forgotten, and we are somehow less alive than we were in that moment – just going though the motions of living instead.