I have often been puzzled over the apparent acceleration of time as I get older. Why does time seem to go by so much faster now than when I was younger? I conclude this to be a personal matter of perception, a phenomenon provoked by my growing awareness of my own mortality, the fact that I’ve crossed over into my 30’s and it may be more challenging to think of the glass half full as opposed to half empty… but I continue to remain quite positive.
Personal perception or the reality of time itself, I have always harbored a certain resentment towards time. I do look back with regret over many things, over time that I’ve wasted, or all things I should have done, said, went to, not said and not done. As I move forward, I strive to make the most of the rest of my life. My life, my path, my karma, my choices, all monumental and moving in their own ways, have shaped and remarkably changed me, and I refuse to be one of those that says, “I wish I would have…” But some days, I’m still rendered unsatisfied with where I am in life, all the while knowing that I’m on my way, I can’t get it all in one short day, there is a whole process to getting from point A to point B. I sometimes go to bed at night and nag at myself for the things I didn’t get done that day, reminding myself that the process takes time, and I still have tomorrow. But how many tomorrow’s I have, there is no guarantee there, but that’s a whole other conversation in itself.
In my past experiences, it’s all the in-between that seems to be the most memorable. All the things that happened from A to B, and in those memories, the time I remember I not only cherish, but I share, I logically pick apart, I pass on, I write about, I analyze, and I recognize as valuable to my life and to the pieces of me that make up my spirit..
Time. Everyone knows that time can be quick and slow. Sharp and quiet, long and short, true and false, and all of these at once. Everyone knows that time is not a fixed commodity. Time is not mechanical, uniform, steadfast, or absolute. Time, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. There is no universal clock ticking off the seconds by which we all grow. Everyone knows that time is relative, slippery, illogical, and unchangeable. The time in each day is a predictably proportioned sequence of morning, noon, and night, and just like the day before, we can expect the same today and tomorrow.
Time. We have means of measurement that have themselves been often altered to be the most precise and accurate, evidence of our attempts to nail down time and gain a sense that we are one step ahead… But no matter how persistent (or consistent) we are in measuring time, it still eludes us. Time itself is something else again, not a thing at all but a force like the wind, undeniable but invisible, and yet evidence of it is apparent everywhere, for better or worse, it’s effects are all around us.
I have written about time before and found in the process, then and now, that most of what I think I know about time seems to change, depending on the time of my life that I’ve chosen to analyze my thoughts on this popular paradoxical subject of mine. But how many ways can we reference time? Time passes, time flies, time flows. Time, we have been told, is a gift. Time is an avenger, a devourer, a destroyer, a disordered thing. Time, we hope, heals all wounds. We talk about spending time, serving time, doing time. We talk about buying time, borrowing time, stealing time. At one time or another, we have all had time on our hands, time to squander, time to kill. More often we say we are pressed for time: like a shirt, like grapes for wine, like a flower in a book, like a hand against a heart. Time, we say, has run out on us: like milk, luck, or an unfaithful significant other. So much time, we complain, is lost: like sunglasses, car keys, or our souls…
Time, I once thought, has always been a monkey on our backs. Time, like gravity, is irrefutable. Time, I once read, is just God’s way of keeping everything happening at once. We teach our kids to tell time: like a fortune, a lie, or a story. The truth is you cannot tell a story without it. Time is the medium of history and change. Without time, history does not exist. Neither does a story of any kind. In a story, one thing happens after another…and then and then and then. Time is the natural propellant of narrative, and one of the luxuries of story is being able to move around in time in ways you never can in real life.
The truth is, you cannot even write one single sentence without it. Past. Present. Future. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Beginning. Middle. End. Sooner or later. Then and now… It was once said that time is the longest distance between two places. One of those places is then, the other is now. Is it an accident that the word, then, refers to both the past and the future? While the word, now, is just an attempt to isolate the present moment?
As much as I think of time, I find it hard to imagine the end of time. I can’t imagine the end of time with my family and loved ones, or their end of time on Earth. And even as it is impossible for me to imagine the end of time, the end of the world, still I also believe that time itself will continue, even if all else ends. I am predisposed to eternity. I find infinity easier to believe in then some future moment when time itself will stop. Truthfully, the more I think about time, the less I understand it, the less I grasp any sense of it. I do know for certain that I have lived through time, my time, extraordinary time, and ordinary time. I have wasted time, served time, done time, had productive time. I have had precious time, memorable time, remarkable time, incredible time. I have had too much time and not enough. I have waited for time to go by and wished that it would just stop dead in its tracks. I have had time to laugh and time to cry. I have thought of time as my enemy and also as my friend. I have been in time, on time, and beyond it… Just as I have always been, I am, and I will be.
~ Jen Lefever Wood
To see a wonderful piece written by a talented & beautiful dear friend of mine, also on the mention of time, click HERE. It is a Poetic Duet written by Hastywords and Stacy Self called ‘Left Sinking’. Enjoy!