I’ve been of the opinion for some time that there’s something fishy about linear time.
It just doesn’t seem to fit with the way I experience life.
Today, for example, was a flash in a mid-afternoon storm, barely noticeable against the pale background. It seemed that we had just barely turned left onto the gravel driveway, then were the clear plastic canopies of the hoophouses behind us. Time went, not from minute to minute, but from task to task, swallowing with it whole hours like small tablets that don’t even brush against the esophagus walls.
And then it was gone. Lost even. Irretrievable.
Our relationship with time is variable. I can still recall the dragging days of childhood, stuck in a doctor’s waiting room or not yet excused from the dinner table. Then on vacation, wishing I could just squeeze the rest of my days into this one week in paradise. Even now, I wish time away when I can’t fill it with what I want most.
I remember this past fall, sleeping with a clear view of stars, surrounded by manzanita trees on a mountaintop in California. Try as I may to be present there and enjoy the near perfection of the Sierra Nevadas, my mind kept drifting 3000 miles east, to an anticipated first kiss. The few months I had to wait seemed an odyssey, but have quadrupled since the embrace was realized.
I imagine even the daily wish of speeding the minutes until 5 are prayers that we begin to wish we could rescind as our age multiplies.
I become more and more convinced of the assertion that time can only exist in relation to us, the timed, and that without us there would be no need for it.
If we can somehow harness this truth, the possibilities would be infinite. To disbelieve in time may be a bit much for my conditioned mind to grasp immediately, so I’ll try this instead:
1. Try to enjoy something about everything that I do, so that I never have to wish time away quickly. And not be afraid to leave an unpleasant situation.
2. Cultivate patience, so that even in illness or knee-deep muck, I can remember that the journey is largely the point.
3. Keep in touch. With those whose eyes reflect my future selves. With those I don’t understand at all. With the past versions of me still scheming behind quivering organs and solid bone.
. . . Maybe I’ll figure it out, in time.