Saturday, February 27, 2016

Time Passages

Time is a slippery thing. It flows like a river, if you believe what you hear on the record you've listened to for more than thirty years. You can't stand in the same river twice, someone will tell you, because that's wisdom. But then you think back to that song about time and realize that you've stepped in that same river hundreds of times over the year. That's what memories do for all of us. Photo albums and journals are like the recycling fountains of time. You can wade back in whenever you get a chance, those images and sounds and feelings are there once again to bring back the past and you can feel free to drink as deeply as you'd like since the past is there for you. It's a resource. It evaporates as the pictures fade or the CDs get lost or the emotions that you once held so dear are now just murmurs of the shout they used to be.
I have my own struggles with time. Like so many other humans, I can't get enough when I need it. Like another old song tells me, "There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do." This is why I write these blogs days in advance. I am writing for the future. Sometimes this means that by the time I read the words I wrote days later, I have had other thoughts that would have made things more clear, or better jokes. Hard to imagine, I know, but as carefully crafted as every one of these entries appear, once I put them in line to publish I start to feel anxious about how it will be received in the days to come. Or weeks after when someone stumbles on my blog while searching for a connection to something that happened months ago.
Or years.
Meanwhile, in my living room there is a machine that is busy keeping track of the television programs that I don't have time to watch at the time they are being broadcast. It is keeping track of my present, in order to let me watch programs from the past in my future. Sometimes that means that I have to ignore my present, like avoiding conversations with friends and family until I have had the experience they had when it was now back then. It is now when I decide it is now. It is a manufactured sense of being able to control time. Pause, fast forward, rewind. Such power. And all around me that river rushes on. I like to pretend that I can keep up, but I know that eventually time will win, just like it always has. And always will.

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