Monday Notes: Nine Days

I recently watched a film called Nine Days. Basically, a reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born. A large part of the process requires the souls to watch human beings live their lives via televisions screens. At one point, Will, the recluse who leads this process, asks the souls what moment stood out to them, and that’s what got me thinking.

The film is clearly about recognizing life’s value. One way to do that is to stop and enjoy the moment in the moment, kind of like mindfulness. Even the souls who “lost,” and weren’t offered an opportunity to live, were still offered an opportunity to have Will recreate a moment prior to disappearing into oblivion.

Life is a gift, and the moments of our lives should be cherished.

That’s part of the film’s message.

But it seems like it would take a lot to live in 100% appreciation of one’s life. When my daughters were six and four, for example, I couldn’t imagine stopping to enjoy or appreciate moments. Many times, I hoped all of us would make it through the day without incident. Sure, I appreciated major events, like the time my grandmother and her sister babysat, so Dwight and I could take a group of high school students to England. But what about “small” everyday moments? I don’t even remember those.

In the movie, one soul’s last moment was a recreation of standing in the sand, on the beach, while the waves crashed…in silence. I’ve been to dozens of beaches, and I was grateful for each visit, but going to the beach is like brushing my teeth. How can we stop ourselves from taking moments for granted?

Can we really learn to live in and enjoy each moment without distraction?

When I say distraction, I don’t just mean a technological device. Sometimes, the thoughts in my head are distractions when I’m supposed to be listening to a friend. I’m sure you have your own to choose from. My question is can you pause your distraction, while you fully engage in and appreciate a moment that matters to you, a matter you intentionally created in the first place?

Since watching this movie, I’ve begun reflecting on special moments from my day. This is different than journaling about gratitude. Instead, I simply think about the whole day, as if I’m one of those souls watching myself. What would I value from this day if I weren’t alive? What would I wish for if I didn’t have a body? Then, I choose a couple of moments that were important. This seems like a legitimate way to honor your own life.

What moment would you choose?

What if you were a soul looking at human beings living life? What moment would look meaningful to you? Eating a delicious meal? Hugging another body? Or what if you were the soul who didn’t “win” a life? What moment would you want to experience right before you disappeared into nothingness? Laughing with friends? Creating art? Whatever you chose, do you value those moments now? Are you fully immersed?

I’m sure many of us, at some point, live life by rote memory as if none of it is special. Yesterday could’ve been today, which could be tomorrow, especially since COVID hit. However, Nine Days really helped me conceptualize what enjoying a moment is, and I think it’s something many of us need right now. There seem to be two ways: either get in there and enjoy the moment’s imagery (smell, touch, etc.) or reflect on a moment that was important for you that day. Either way, I know this has helped me live with deeper appreciation of the life I have, and I hope it helps you, too.


60 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Nine Days

  1. Sounds like an interesting movie and concept . I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a soul , but I would just be a spooky ghost type and scare people ☺️👻. But no to be honest , my happiest moments are with my friends , my family and my animals . So if I’m a soul I would just want one of my animals with me to hang out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing!!… sounds like an interesting movie… rather than put pressure on myself or by trying to think like the crowd, I just follow my heart with an open mind and every moment will be what it will be, I try not to dwell on what the future may bring and not dwell on what could have been… 🙂

    Until we meet again….
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the movie title. I’m sure you’ve read enough of my blog posts by now to know that I look for those moments–the gift–in every day. As for those “baby moments.” My gosh! I treasure memories of those moments my son and I spent reading, chatting, building, singing, being silly together. I’m sure you do too. And…you do remember them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Instead, I simply think about the whole day, as if I’m one of those souls watching myself. What would I value from this day if I weren’t alive? What would I wish for if I didn’t have a body? Then, I choose a couple of moments that were important. This seems like a legitimate way to honor your own life.”

    ——walking home from school in the afternoon with my youngest, taking our time, feeling the sun on our faces after it has been raining all day, stopping a lot to look at things we see along the way, talking about different stuff, letting him teach me about airplanes

    Liked by 2 people

      1. hopefully I haven’t left you feeling sandbagged by the divineness, lol. The little things are pretty much all I’ve got. This was a good essay, Katherin. Really makes a person think. Sorry I didn’
        t have something deeper in return. it’s hard stuff to think about. Hope you’ve had a good week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I definitely have. This new perspective has helped me to only have good weeks, actually. What you said was deep enough because I feel as if you already do this everyday and on your blog.


  5. Another thoughtful post, Katherin. I feel like I often preach the sentiment about treasuring each day. But honestly, I believe it just adds pressure for me to have constant awareness of living my best life at every single moment.

    Instead, I savor with gratefulness small things, like appreciating my food, a nap, and knowing that my children are doing well. I’ve gone through many years of constant stress when my parents were sick, my marriage was lousy, and my children had problems. I’ve also dealt with some chronic health issues, which I managed to overcome. So just being healthy is enough for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judy, I think you’re right, and thank you for the compliment. I think you’re right about it being so much pressure, but I also am starting to think we turn everything into too much pressure, sometimes.

      Thanks for sharing your list, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a very interesting and intriguing movie, I will have to see it. The day I started to appreciate my life was the day my life was saved after a suicide attempt. Sad that I had to go that far due to deep depression but today I look at life as a gift! 🙂
    Have a wonderful day, and thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First of all, I’m glad you’re still here, Bridgette ❤

      Also, ironically, or maybe not, the movie showed that one of the souls who'd been selected did commit suicide, and Will was having a hard time understanding what could possibly have gone wrong with his process that he would choose someone who would do that.

      Anywho, I think we all learn these types of lessons the best way we can. Thank you for sharing about your journey towards learning life is a gift!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Very thought provoking! I don’t think I’ve ever really taken life for granted. Well, perhaps a few times, but not very often. I have distinct memories even as a child looking around and telling myself to remember the moment. I have strong memories even as a little girl like when my family packed up to move to Florida. I went walking around the entire house and the grounds and implanting images of my favorite home in my mind so I would remember it forever . To this day i see images of that lovely large brick colonial when I envision what a home should look like.
    For some reason I knew it was important to savor as many images as I possibly could. I always kept a diary, so I suppose it makes sense that I would take all my sensory images and store them up.
    But, I don’t believe that souls disappear into nothingness . Yes, my religious background taught me to believe that the souls of those who passed on became more higher evolved as they were remembered, and the memory of those people becomes a blessing and lives on through time and space.

    At another time in my life I’d watch that movie you mention, but not now since I’m living with cancer. I choose not to dwell on that. I choose to focus on good days, when I feel well. Being submersed in good moments is essential. I have quite a few crummy days but a good day is glorious and is never to be taken for granted. It’s like feeling the warm the sun on your arms after a long cold winter. Every day should be that special.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Lesley. Although you seem to have been born with a specific type of awareness, do you think (most) people have to come face-to-face with some life altering experience (e.g., terminal illness or something similar) to appreciate life’s moments or life as a gift?

      And thank you for pointing out the “nothingness” comment. I usually try to write more universally because I do realize everyone believes something different about what happens after life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I do think most people have to personally experience a crisis to relate to life altering situations. However, there are those who are innately sensitive from an early age. My sister and I have often discussed this. She has always needed to experience things first hand whereas I never had to. I could just feel things.
        But I’m sure as a teacher you’ve seen that with kids. How children often use personification to relate to emotions . They often relate to inanimate objects. They bond with blankets, toys, cars and imaginary objects etc. Go watch the movie the brave little toaster. It’s about a group of “objects” who ( a lamp, toaster, blanket, etc.) set out to find their lost friend when they are left and forgotten when their former playmate grows up. Children often love unconditionally but seem to lose that ability when they grow up.
        In regards to the nothingness comment everyone believes differently. I actually have many points of view. (Those passed down and views based on my readings of Plato, and those from my dreams. I have always had vivid dreams of people who have passed away. So it’s more than just a religion . It’s based on a plethora of data and ideas I’ve formed over the years.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Life is a gift, and the moments of our lives should be cherished – This and your entire post gives me a happy smile :)) Firstly for the resonance of this day, as I just now posted something with a similar sentiment behind it. And then for how beautifully you conveyed this message. Life is a string of pearls of moments that we truly lived alive to them. I too have this regret of not collecting more such pearls of gratitude in my younger years, but now that I am aware truly treasure them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pragalbha ❤ I am just about to read what you wrote. As soon as I read the title, I thought the same…it's funny how we can all be on the same frequency, so much of the time. I also like the imagery of life being "a string of pearls of moments."

      Liked by 1 person

  9. lovely thoughts Kathy and it sounds like a valuable movie. I so agree with so much you said…
    “I’ve been to dozens of beaches, and I was grateful for each visit, but going to the beach is like brushing my teeth. How can we stop ourselves from taking moments for granted?”

    And we don’t want to stop the moment truly.. rather immerse ourselves in them.
    Everyday moments become extraordinary gifts that way💖

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Great post. I’ve been really trying to appreciate all things, small and large…good and bad. I’ve been focusing on doing one thing at a time and not multitasking if I can help it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think doing one thing at a time is definitely the way to be more immersed in the moment, and I think we should call it immersed in the moment, instead of mindfulness, mainly because the idea of mindfulness seems to have sent everyone into a frenzy.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Fascinating! I really like your practice of reviewing the day and choosing a couple of moments. What a great way to practice preciousness.

    I think my moments would be the ordinary ones that I shared with loves ones – the laughs, the hugs, the touch of being known. But I look forward to putting this to use and seeing how it plays out in my life.

    Thank you, Kathy!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you. This movie really has positively impacted me. I’ve been thinking about all the nuances for a couple weeks now.

      I like that word, “preciousness.”

      I also like “the touch of being known” ❤ Thank you for adding these!

      Liked by 2 people

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