Time is a funny thing. It bends and flexes, speeds up and slows down. Catching us off-guard on occasion. Our perception of time has a lot to do with how it plays out. A favourite quote of mine, regarding the topic of time, comes from a Doctor Who episode: Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.
It was the Doctor who said it. Perhaps, it is easy for him. He is a Time Lord. Travelling through space and time. Nonetheless, I agree.
Time can be measured in so many ways. More than the seconds, minutes, hours and days that we commonly use. Change can be a measurement of time. Look at the change from seed to seedling to tree. No timepiece available, one can see that time has moved forward by the changes in that seed/tree.
Sometimes there is so much stuff packed in to such a tight place that it seems to stretch time. We seem to grow exponentially. Mature. Time is capable of ushering this along if there is not enough of it to properly install the necessary distance. Time helps us grow-up. It may not heal all wounds (or any for that matter) but it will give the gift of perspective. Even if it only has a few seconds to spare.
The Sands in the Hourglass
We all have our own measure of time. Particular to us. A timeline, if you will. I don’t personally care for that as I am not much of a linear person, but…
I think most people can agree that time occasionally stands still. Or at least seems to. Have you ever been lost in that impenetrable and stagnant bubble? You do everything in your power to push and pull it. Clock watching and busying ourselves. The pot never boils. Moments like this can be frustrating. Forcing you to the brink of your sanity only to collapse and edge everything forward, just ever so slightly. Often times not even enough for you to notice and other times altogether too much.
Would it be strange to think of ourselves as measurements of time? And not in relation to us, but to something entirely different. Bigger. More expansive. Could it be that we are the sands slipping through the hourglass? And what will happen once we have all fallen through?
The Evolution of Time
I wonder what would happen if we stopped tracking time. Or even if we lessened the grip on the reigns.
I refuse to wear a watch. For the most part I can tell the time by the sun or the litany of digital clocks that surround us at any given moment. Like, what if I don’t want to know what time it is? What if I want the weather and the news and not the time? Hmpf. Everything has a clock: car, mobile devices, oven, television, microwave, computers, and now the jumbo advertising screens along the side of the highway. EVERYTHING! And even though some things need this measure of time attached (like my glucometer, it is necessary to track the time of all of my blood glucose test results, I get that) it can still be a nuisance. Avoiding time has become an increasingly difficult thing to accomplish.
With all the different cultures in the world there are differing opinions as to when and how time began. So how can we properly assess the evolution of time? If we even can. Perhaps we are just making do. Best we can. Maybe. But there are other options. And likely even more than those I have briefly thought of below.
Like the creation of time for comfort. Perhaps that’s what happened. Human beings – even if they are not themselves organized – crave order. It is why we are so easily swayed by ideas of politricks (as a fan of Peter Tosh and political science major I couldn’t help myself!) and religion. That is not to say that we should ignore the goings on of the world and abandon faith. What I am saying is that we need to do our due diligence. And a lot of people do not do that. In the very least, we need to be asking more questions. We do draw comfort from time. The calendar offers a sense of time-management. We can count on certain things happening at certain moments in time. Like birthdays and holidays. Property and income taxes.
Maybe time was written by the stars long ago. And the notion of it is just coming clearer now. That could be why we have yet to master it.
Or maybe time cannot be tamed. And held to such rigid standards of being. Time is fluid. Passing without aid. And with ease.
Time must be allowed to move organically. We cannot rush time. We have to encourage to run its course and allow it the chance to collect information, memories, along the way. It is like walking a dog. There are people who pull their dog the entire way. Never pausing when it does. Never allowing it to sniff around. You see them. Yanking on the chain while the poor pup is mid-pee. Too busy fiddling with some device. Head down. They have no idea what is even taking place. Those are people who do not properly understand why a dog must be walked. It isn’t merely for the physical benefit. The most important part of that walk, a part from bonding time and socialization (or perhaps the need to expel), is the sniff. It is a mental workout for the dog.
Human beings take note: sniff more!
I recently got in touch with a friend. WE had sort of lost communication for the last couple of years. During a recent bit of dialogue came the question why now. And for them it was a very important one to have answered.
Why is often bounced around when dealing with time. We wonder why things happen when they do. And why they don’t when they don’t. Our fixation on time has made the time why more important than the reason why. And because of this there is a risk for great loss. People assume knowing the time why will somehow clarify things. Explain the reason why. But that is not the case. The time why isn’t really important. Unless the chronology of it all is necessary.
And often it is not. The reason why is what counts. Maybe not entirely but it should count enough to be considered properly.
I explained as best as I could why now and hope they understand. We sometimes need time. To ourselves. Whether that is us independently or as a contributing member to a group (like a family).
Sometimes we take time that may not be ours for the taking. Completely. Our lives are intertwined with those around us in more ways than our wee little brains can conceptualize. A relationship with another person is a merger of time. Not all time. Just the time you share with each other. And should one of you need to remove yourself you tear apart the time you shared with the other. No longer shared, you each take your version of that time and continue on. And that can be dangerous. And difficult.
Once shared time has been torn the mending cannot happen immediately. Regardless of the rift-causing event. It needs time. Perspective. Focus. But we are often distracted. Flittering around to each and every little thing that satiates us. We mistake momentary happiness for guaranteed long-term results. A mistake that can often lead to the re-sharing and re-tearing of time. The idea of this is terrifying to some people. Unimaginable to others. And a minor hurdle for some. Perhaps even to a few a non-issue. But definitely a no-go for the risk averse.
We sometimes do things we are unsure of. Human beings are innately curious creatures. Think about it: we must have started asking some questions at some point or how are we here now? That doesn’t mean I would advise jumping in without preparing every time…You don’t know what temperature the water is. You don’t even know what’s in there.
But then again, what is life without a little bit of risk?
Tick Tock, goes the clock.