At the end of Season 6 of "Mad Men," Don Draper paints a beautiful scene for the executives of Hershey. Draper pitches them on the meaning of a Hershey bar to a little boy, accompanied by his father, knowing that the wrapper would not misrepresent the contents within. The wrapper looks just like the bar. The promise of what would be enjoyed was almost as good as enjoying it.
Moments later, Draper crumbles and reveals this was an invented story. Draper was an orphan, raised in a whorehouse. It's a false nostalgia. He then shares the real sense-memory of consuming a Hershey bar in one of the rooms of his fractured past.
The Hershey Bar pitch is one of the most powerful in Season 6 and echoes "The Carousel"--arguably the best season finale in all of Mad Men stock.
Our tenant asked to borrow our can opener. We hadn't moved the electric one yet so all we could lend was our all-in-one corkscrew can opener Boy Scoutish gadget. He said he'd Google how to use it. I reminded him this was his Camp, Part II. This would be his first summer in a few where he would not be working at his beloved camp. "Don't remind me," he said, "Been having those 'no camp this summer' heartaches." He was having heartache over what was his Summers Past, over what was his Not This Summer.
We do not have just this moment. We do not register in our minds every time we see a tree: Look at that tall structure with its strong totem and its many arms and its fluttering green dangling appendages. What is that? Is it alive? Are there others like it? We have all the moments that inform this moment and we know: that is a tree with a thick trunk and abundant leaves.
They, the sages and the poets and the YOLO campaign are wrong about how we only have this moment.
We get to have this precious moment that is transposed by all the moments before in memory--some more foggy than others--and we get all the moments of the future that we can imagine in our mind's eye.
I am starting to lose memories that I once kept like aged photos tucked into a locket, strung around my neck. I am losing the crisp lines around faces and the context and the details are slipping through the holes of my pockets. Even though my recall is becoming poorer, somehow I am wealthier because I still get to live in the body with the feet that have run across these bridges, with heart that has beat for these loves.
Is that not a rich, rich life? What Creator crafted our consciousnesses so, that we have the capacity to reflect back on and project forward and to experience the presence as in a hall of mirrors?
*** And yet none of us are guaranteed another moment. So we live, trying not to rush through this one or to squander the next, because each one is as a hundred soft kisses, a thousand words, a million guesses as to how stupid blessed we are just to be.