Stop me if you’ve heard this already, but just in case an electromagnetic pulse has put the media in your town out of commission, the Oxford Dictionary says “time” is the most popular word in the English language. Apparently channeling the collective unconscious, or maybe even the collective conscious, I was recently, like this week, thinking how time was the one thing that has bugged me most during my life.
Since my childhood. I can still remember (I’ve said this before) throwing a fit at the age of five when my mother told me one December that 1964 wouldn’t be coming around ever again. This idea of permanence and irrevokability and transience is disturbing.
Time is, for me, a slit in things through which all the lightness leaks out.
Time is death nipping at your heels. Time is the monster in the nightmare where your feet are stuck in tar and you’re running more and more slowly and it’s gaining on you.
An old lady once said, when you’re little you have so much time. So much time. And as you get older, things go faster and faster. And when you’re really old, fucking hell, probably.
I find myself missing more and more deadlines.
On the radio they interviewed some old people yesterday. One was 103 years old, or will be on her next birthday*. They were asked things like, are you envious of today’s kids for all the toys and entertainment gizmos they have, like Gameboys and computers etc? And they said, in general, not for a single fucking minute do they envy today’s kids.
And I think of things like play dates and playing Mozart to babies to make them smarter, starting in the womb, and all the extra classes some kids get, and summer camps and workshops and good schools and bad schools and mobile phones and ringtones and Internet lists of p3d0s and suspicion and juvenile onset adult diabetes and war on 200 channels and corn syrup and pandemics and so on. And I remember digging holes in the filbert orchard near my house, all day, building forts and looking at Playboy magazines, and I think, not for a minute.
I think if one can manage not to let time freak one out, one is in a good position.
If one can somehow, you know, flow. Leaf in the river.
Let time buoy you or something. But how does that work?

*knock on wood

7 responses to “Time

  1. Short answer: read Mihaly Czikzentmihaly on flow.

    There is one thing that I do envy, and that’s the growing-up-with-computers thing. That’s what’s going to save them – the having taken computers for granted since birth.

  2. I find that a good moisturizer, with a high SPF, works wonders.

  3. Does anyone outside of us Oregonians call them filberts?

  4. mig

    Us Washingtonians.

  5. Californians, too. Somehow I just cannot abide by hazelnuts – and anything hazelnut flavored or, even worse, scented – but kind of dig filberts.

  6. You know, I can’t believe that kids also have homework EVERY DAY from like, grade one onwards. That’s just plain evil, if you ask me. I didn’t have daily homework until I was in 8th grade, and I shudder to think how awful it would’ve been if it has started earlier than that. We spent an awful lot of time playing, just playing, all kinds of made up things and vaguely organized game-type things and just messing around things.

  7. No, I don’t envy them, even if it’s just for the fact that no one seems to be able to let their kids play outside anymore.