Four and a Half Minutes in the Moment with Sturgill Simpson

Matt Gangloff
7 min readNov 12, 2021
Credit to Saturday Night Live and Sturgill SImpson

Have you ever been truly in the moment? That place where time doesn’t exist? Where the rest of the world fades away? Where “you” disappear?

There’s just doing without anybody doing it.

Some people call it a “Peak Experience”. Some people call it being “in flow” or being “in the zone”. Some people find it through surfing. Some through meditation. Some through sex. Or drugs. Or dance.

Or music.

Music, of all the ways to find the moment, seems to be the most accessible. Music is universal. It does the trick for almost everyone. Whether it’s the Grateful Dead, Snoop Dog or Hank Williams, everyone has felt that feeling of melting into the music.

We all know that feeling. We might not have the words to describe it. But when we see other people living wholly in the moment, we recognize it in others even if we’re unaware of it in ourselves.

And when we do, maybe we can study it. Maybe we can unpack it. Maybe we can pull it apart and identify its constitutive parts. And maybe, we can recognize what turns us on, create those moments more often and enjoy them more while they last.

Maybe I should show you what I mean.

Watch this video of Sturgill Simpson’s face-melting performance of his fan-favorite “Call to Arms” on Saturday Night Live in 2017.

Recognizing the Moment

0:34: The way his lips curl up as he says, “Where does it end?”

0:53: The way the piano player dips his shoulder as he hits the last note. Sturgill’s beginning to infect the other band members and bring them into the moment.

1:04: The Bassist starts to feel it. The way he purses his lips and bobs his head with each pluck of the strings.

1:06: The Trumpet comes in. He rips the last notes and starts his two step, looks up and purses his lips.

Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life.