Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time


So far, I think I’ve been fairly successful in using the Web in general and the blog medium in particular as means of hustling my thoughts into the bright light of day. And hustle I must, because tomorrow is a form of paralysis. I don’t trust it, and I don’t believe in it. Oh, it exists, alright — the way everything exists in these brains of ours. But try to make sense of it, and the next thing we know, we’re setting our lives by calendars and clocks. Time. I don’t have time. If I only had time. We need time. Give me time. Time heals all wounds. Time is what runs down your arms when you eat a ripe juicy peach. It’s summertime, it’s wintertime, it’s springtime, it’s . . . fall. Fool. Last night I dreamed my elderly mother and one of her elderly friends from our elderly hometown were descending the steps from a brightly lit abode late at night just as my son and I were arriving on foot. They had their purses and were all smiles, as if they’d been playing cards in a roomful of friends circa 1962, when such things were common in their world and mine, when the cars parked in the driveway were glorious sulking pieces of metal fitted with chrome grimaces and smiles, except that in the dream there were no cars, only a house with a dome made of bricks and little castle windows, and these two women as happy as could be even though they could hardly walk for fear — mine, not theirs — that each step might send them skidding into the street below. But it didn’t happen. Nothing did. Why should it? I saw them, and that was enough. They were happy, and the joy it gave me was almost more than I could stand. It still is. The thing about time is this: I’m immersed in a very important project that’s weeks and months from completion, and if I don’t stay alive long enough it won’t be completed. It’s the same old story: So what? We die when we die. We die in the beginning. We die in the middle. We die in the end. We die with words on our lips, with thoughts in our minds, with hopes, dreams, memories, desires, inklings, hints — and often it’s our death that does the work we could not do, or that we were afraid to do, or that we couldn’t even imagine doing because we were too busy imagining something else — and is that so bad, really? I’ll finish it or I won’t. Statistically speaking “time” is in my favor. And yet I remember a crazy tobaggon ride I was on once as a kid, skidding wildly past rocks and tree trunks toward no particular destination. So luck is involved. To be the kid, to be the man whose mother laughs in his dreams, to be alive just long enough to


Updates:
“Time” is my newest Notebook entry. Old notes are archived here.
“He imagined himself” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

2.1.2011 #2
2.1.2011 #1 (poem, Sandburg, Frost)

15 comments:

Two Tigers said...

It must not be easy to be time. So many thinking beings place such burdens upon it - expecting it to define us, save us, grant us wisdom and perspective, fuel and then ennoble our ambitions, structure our sense of self and life, putting it into context. And then we go around fearing or denying or hating it! No surprise that time slips up occasionally and gives one person more and another one less of their due. May time be good to you, William.

William Michaelian said...

It already has, Gabriella, as your note further proves.

Indigo said...

Time only has the upper hand we give it, in our worries, our stress, our round about hurry. Unless of course we take it's hand and live fully in the moment, each one leading to the other. Then perhaps we don't see the race a lifetime runs from one end to another. (Hugs)Indigo

Old 333 said...

Awesome, William. Time is a mirror-trick to make us work harder (or work at all), and that's my word on it.

Peter

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Indigo. Thanks, Peter. I’ll add this: It’s easy for us to muse from the vantage point of all of the great works and great dreams that did reach fruition, and which, because they did, we can’t imagine the world without. A bouquet of many petals, War and Peace here, Starry Night there, Beethoven, Dickens, ancient, new — all of whom felt the urgency of their hearts beating inside their skulls.

Anthony Duce said...

You, in your amazing way have expressed similar thoughts I’ve had about mortality, and how to deal with each new day, and the projects we always seem to be in the middle of. When aren’t we in the middle of life, wondering about the next day?

William Michaelian said...

I don’t know. Maybe when we’ve thrown in the towel, or are in such a stupor of habit that we’ve grown insensitive to the world around us. Brr. I get nervous just thinking about it. Thanks, Anthony.

Gerry Boyd said...

Nice meditation. If your future will not be enjoyed in the now, there's no sense in contemplating it. If it will be enjoyed in the now, it does not exist.

William Michaelian said...

I can’t argue with that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is, has been, and will always be only one moment. Nice of you too, to use the word meditation when harangue might also do.

rahina q.h. said...

you caught me rolling down that hill covered in spring flowers, summer grasses, autumn leaves and winter snows as the speed of your writing took over and i finally rolled over the edge into the abyss devoid of time.... how do you manage to do that with a pen and paper?

William Michaelian said...

Oh, I have help: you, and all you bring with you when you read.

SuperiorEd said...

Three steps lead me here. Zen Koan, my most recent blog article, then a search for more. I enjoy your perspective. It seems familiar.

Steve
http://superiored.blogspot.com/2011/02/one-hand-clapping-secret-to-life.html

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Steve. Best of all, I love the way you arrived.

isabelle said...

Oh William, each time I visit here and read your beautiful words I feel better; fuller, as if you have added to my view on the world and helped me see a little clearer. It's as if you have the wisdom of the earth, or rather an earthy wisdom that sings of landscapes and love. Thank you very much.

William Michaelian said...

You’re welcome, Isabelle, and thank you. Your beautiful response means the world to me. As I said to Rahina, what you bring is every bit as important as what I offer. It can only work both ways.