The Moment Before

July 18, 2012 § 29 Comments

Michelangelo’s sculpture, the David, stands in the Galleria Dell’ Accademia in Florence.  I cannot find the words to describe its magnificence.   David stands with a far off gaze, his sling over his shoulder, frozen forever in that moment before his great triumph.  There can be no doubt about his intentions.  He knows what he must and will do.

Our challenges seem less dramatic, less momentous, than the one David faced so long ago that day in the Valley of Elah.  But we face our challenges every day in a myriad of contexts.  And each of our challenges, like David’s, begins with the moment before.  The moment before we step into that tough conversation, the moment before we choose to do that task that we have resisted for so long, the moment before we open ourselves to the great loss we have sought to repress.

The moment before is the moment we must choose- this way or that- evade or confront.   Our question is the same one that David faced.   Who shall I choose to be in this moment?

We best live in our moments before if we know who we are and let that sense of self drive our choice.  It is not a moment for analysis; it is a moment to let our actions flow from the core of our being.

This is how I imagine David lived in the moment that Michelangelo so preciously captured for eternity.  This is how I would hope to live in each of my moments before- an aspiration I live out imperfectly but ceaselessly.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

§ 29 Responses to The Moment Before

  • Thomas I love your blog and glad you started following me so that we could get in touch! I find your writing incredibly inspiring and so I’d be honoured to nominate you for Inspiring Blog Award! Congratulations!

  • Uncle Tree says:

    I have my own ideas about David’s early life.
    If you’re interested. If knot, please, excuse me.

  • Uncle Tree says:

    I’m a sucker for David’s songs.
    A true lyrical poet with a body sculptured
    by Mind, God, and Michelangelo.

    A spontaneous gesture from Uncle Tree –
    ‘Twas good food for thought, Thomas.
    Nice to meet you! 🙂 Just say when…

  • brendamarroy says:

    Hi Thomas. I love this about the moment before. It is vital that we be in each moment and remain authentic.
    Here is the 20 second quote from We Bought a Zoo.
    “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage…just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. I promise something great will come of it.”

  • Oh, do you come up with this all by yourself? It really is so good. When you posted this (yesterday?) I thought a lot about it, all day long and it was on my mind helping me to confront my daily job. Each moment when you struggle becomes a moment before.
    I was so happy to be reminded of “the moment before” just now as I opened your blog on my desktop computer.
    I love what Jennlaurent had to say: that its really the moment before that requires the courage. It’s so true, isn’t it? Once we are in the midst of the doing, we are ok.

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Bethany, the thought that what I wrote could have been of help to you, in even a small way, means so much to me. Tom

      • Thomas, it has still been helping me. I’ve been thinking of this ever since I wrote that comment. I sit with a cigarette in hand, and I think I should put it out, and then I think, no, I will just smoke it. And then suddenly the words pop in my head “this is the moment before.”

  • Thanks for this post, it was really fascinating reading your insights.
    Just a couple of days ago i was thinking for no apparent reason about Michelangelo’s philosophy regarding his own art. He would consider the work he sculptured not the fruit of his own effort, rather he argued that the statues were already there and his work was to merely set them “free” or visible to the world.
    It always made me wonder about how this could relate to other people as well. How many novels are waiting for the suitable writer to be written,how many views or scenes will be hidden till a photographer or painter will expose them to humanity? But also, it makes me wonder about the person I’m going to be, the characters and qualities that are inside us, that await the moment to be shown…the hero that could be resting in each one of us, when are we going to show it to the world?

    • Thomas Ross says:

      What a thoughtful reply.

      I recall that as you approach the David, lining the passage are Michelangelo’s “The Slaves”- sculptures that literally take the form of humans emerging from the slabs of marble.

      I do believe that great art, like great wisdom, is in a sense already there. But it takes the genius of artistry to set it free.

      Thanks so much for these great thoughts.


  • This is a beautiful post and just what I needed to hear this morning, thank you! In “A Course In Miracles” I think your post is what the Holy Instant means. Thank you! Sincerely, Elizabeth Lane

  • Julianna says:

    “Who shall I choose to be in this moment?” – Yesssss…..

  • Cassie says:

    Michelangelo’s David is one of my favorite sculptures. I was lucky enough to see it in Florence. I never really thought about it as capturing the “moment before”, but that thought will stay in my mind now. Wise words, as always.

  • Rhonda says:

    This is beautiful, Thomas. And may everyone be blessed with the good fortune of a trip to Florence!!!

    Thank you again for your work. Yours on in this very moment, Rhonda

  • jennlaurent (LiveThroughTheHeart) says:

    Tom…. that moment before. I love that you wrote about this. There is a quote from a movie about only needing 20 seconds of courage to do anything. I find it so true…as it is really that moment before that requires the courage. Another great post!

  • fgassette says:

    I Love this post. It has excited and inspired my mind concerning my photography because I love capturing the moment through the lens of my camera. It looks like a storm is approaching and I am encouraged by your words to capture the moment.


  • Robyn Lee says:

    So do agree…. not a moment for analysis… but a natural flow, from the core…from the place that propels us toward our choice, which is really only our: next moment…. Best, RL

  • Susan Cooper/ says:

    Well said. It is hard to add something of value when you are able to capture the subject so well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The Moment Before at only here only now.


%d bloggers like this: