Perception. It is, by definition, our entire universe. An empty frame doesn’t remain an empty frame: we perceive it as a frame, as an entity surrounding a something, and so whatever we see inside the frame becomes a picture. Even if the picture shifts as we move.

“Look at that sunset. It looks like a painting. It doesn’t look real.” That’s highest praise from a modern human. We’re so used to reframing, accentuating, exaggerating, finding the extremes. When nature serves up an extreme for us, we marvel.

It’s difficult to remain present with those moments. We pop out of focus; maybe we reach for a camera, or we lament the transience of the moment. By mourning the moment too soon, we lose it entirely.

In truth, the moment does have a lifespan within us. Or rather, our experience of the moment has a lifespan. Each moment is a tiny chisel, chipping a groove into our malleable brain matter. Our experience of each moment contributes to the circuit diagram of our neurons, helping shape our future experience.