Monday, June 25, 2012
Time: An Essay of Realization
Time is wicked. Slow as syrup when we are young, tricking us into believing this is the way it will always be. We will have time to love, laugh, fuck up, recreate, and explore. We will have time to redefine and reinvent ourselves. We waste our minutes, our weeks. We don’t notice how it slips away. And then one day, suddenly, there isn’t enough time for anything.
The minutes go by much too quickly, the hours even faster. One year bleeds into another until they all melt together like the colors in a Pollack painting. Not enough time.
Not enough time to take back the regrets or find a new love. Not enough time to say I’m sorry or to visit the Nile. Not enough time to think a simple pleasing thought or enjoy how the breeze bends the tips of the trees. And we mourn and we try to tell the young, “Don’t waste your time. It’s not enough. It will go by quickly. Don’t squander it”. But we don’t relate the news with urgency. We don’t try to make them see the emergency of the slippage of time. We tell them in a whisper and then we shrug as they walk away, and we watch with envy as they dance, sing, love.
We sadly smile with a secret knowing when we see the glint in their eye turn into a dark shard of desperation. We note the exact moment that the realization hits them about the true nature of time. The catalyst might be illness, a late middle age birthday, the death of a spouse, retirement, but when it hits you can see the force of it. It takes their breath away. We wait and watch for that moment, and then we hold out our arms and welcome these newly initiated "time aware" into our Club of Commiseration. The commiseration over the devilish way that time shifts from a soft cotton comfort into a metal treadmill set way too fast. And we talk about it over tea, a cigarette, and coffee. We dissect the years. We unravel them like tangled yarn: the touch of a mother’s fingers on our cheek, much loved dolls now long gone, first dates, new jobs, marriages, births, lovers, children growing up and leaving, the decline of physical abilities, new grandchildren. We marvel over how we changed from scabbed kneed children into gray haired people who don’t recognize our own faces in the once shallow mirrors. Yet, inside we feel the same. We still feel the pull of the rope swing on a summer day, the joy that the ice cream truck chimes bring, the excitement over newly arrived summer lightening bugs.
How fast the time went. How fast the rest of it will go. How I will fight it. I know now. I know what a trickster time is. I do not take one second for granted. I no longer walk past a spring sunset and not stop in my tracks and notice. I do not rush the words of a child. I do not leave the flowers unpicked. I do not worry if the grass if cut or not. I no longer put off my life for a tomorrow which might not arrive.
Now give me back my time that I wasted, Universe. Give it all back and I will not utter one word of despair or regret or longing. I will not wish the years away. I will not look at the clock when I am kissed or made love to for the first time. I will not wish my time away. I will merely experience and be in the moment of time, simply and beautifully. The way I was meant to be.
Posted by Liti