Sunday, November 7, 2010

No matter what you do, it will get here

There was the election, there was - more - record heat, there was the return of our purloined hour and now there are clouds and watery icons on the weather forecast.

Flexibility is a virtue I work/desire to attain. Spontaneity is a skill I covet. The switchback, serpentine aspects of our day-to-day leave me off balance. Off-balance can lead to wooziness which is like death to clear thinking. I dislike being confused.

I am not prepared for Thanksgiving to be so near. And we all know that about 15 minutes after the leftovers have all been eaten, Christmas arrives. In January the months ahead seem so rich with possibility, with time, with even the likelihood that I can start - and finish - projects. I swear time is not a reliable commodity, it is not what it advertises itself to be. There are laws against packaging which misleads the consumer, yet time is wrapped up in magnifying cellophane, giving us to think that we are getting much more of it than we do. By the time we have the paper torn off, what looked like a cloud of cotton candy is down to the size of a Chiclet.

If procrastination were a virtue, let us leave it at that, accent on IF. It is not a virtue, it is a dominant factor in my life but, back to the Chiclet, I swear I had more time. Once again, it is too late to be early. It is almost too late to be anything but late. Handmade is how we do things around here and handmade takes planning and more hours than I expect. When I reached that bend (you know the one I mean) in the river, my ability to estimate how long a task would take diminished by about 300%. That would be the number, would it not, for things now taking three times longer than they ought to.

Adding to the evaporative nature of days/hours/weeks is a tendency to stare out the window when befuddled. I watch the sky, either the sunlight on the palm fronds or the clouds gathering, then moving on. If I could find a way to wrap up my musings, they could be sent in lieu of cards or gifts. Market value: unknown. Sentimental value: about the same. So I dream and dawdle serious chunks of what time remains; I already sent out one birthday IOU this week. In my defense, I think it is a step up from my grandparents sending anything, absolutely anything they encountered, attaching a note that always read, "Hope this fits, can't remember sizes."

Perhaps they couldn't remember sizes but what I think really happened was they couldn't remember that time is a slippery character. Likely they, as I, thought it reliable, steadfast and put too much trust in its being there, they way it seemed to promise. Make no mistake, it is the roommate that borrows your prettiest dress for a trip and you never see either of them again. Then you are left, in exchange, with the rust-colored, none-too-clean skirt and a sinking feeling, grateful that you wore different size shoes.

I should probably start printing IOUs.

12 comments:

Erin in Morro Bay said...

"If I could find a way to wrap up my musings, they could be sent in lieu of cards or gifts."
But you do - they are wrapped up here in this marvelous blog and shared with us all. And never underestimate the worth of watching the palm fronds wave or the changes in the sky - maybe this is what time is for after all.
Erin

Kass said...

What a wonderfully creative expression of the frustrations and permutations of time.

Enjoyable and stimulating writing!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Focusing on the inside is better than focusing on the outside.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you for such affirming words. There are times when what we offer seems so hard to value, seems so unlike what we are shown in the world around us. How fine it would be if THIS was what time really is for, a notion I love. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you for comments that always encourage me...time has become the most elusive of commodities, so fluid, so evasive. It seems impossible to catch. I need a pail and have only a sieve.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - More and more, anything that is "outside" seems suspect and what is real only exists within. Whether right or wrong, it is where my focus seems to be.

t i m said...

When it comes to presents, I was always told it’s the thought that counts. I somehow beg to differ. :)

Wonderfully written by the way *makes mental note to visit here more often* :D

Marylinn Kelly said...

t i m - Thank you, I look forward to more words from you and will visit your site more often...I lose track so easily. I believe when there IS thought, especially when resources may be scant, the words are true but no thought, hmmmm.

Robert the Skeptic said...

We discussed it with our kids and it is agreed, no gifts will be exchanged this Christmas, only the grand kids will get presents... and judiciously. The stress of spending money when it is all so tight this year was an easy sell.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - A sensible plan...other than a few things for my son, usually in the book and DVD area, gifts and cards are handmade. I think back on Christmas past and the expense, exhaustion and overwhelm and find simple and pared down to be very satisfying and more about what is in our hearts than our wallets.

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn, each visit to your blog is a gift. It is many gifts, actually. Thank you.

Have you read Alan Lightman's book 'Einstein's Dreams?' It's one I've read often and that I pull off the shelf again when time puzzles or confounds me. Each chapter addresses time in a different way; in one, it is a sense, like smell or touch; in another, a deity. In one, time is 'a circle, bending back on itself'. Lightman explores (though conversation with Einstein and Marco Polo) time as a place, a lover, a villain, a mathematical construct. . .

At my most defiant and (paradoxically?) most at ease, I speak of knowing no such words as 'early' or 'late', as if they've packed up and gone, leaving room in my dictionary for something else, something more? Time is such a stressor, can be a towering, fear-inducing giant. Living increasingly in The Now, with eyes, ears, heart and intentions focussed primarily on the moment, person, project, tree, cloud, rainbow, etc. . . immediately in front of us seems to help, don't you find (which in no way implies it's not difficult to sustain)?

re; Christmas looming (which, sadly, is how it feels these days), I'm not able to get my head there without a knot starting to form, so I'll leave it where it is for the time being. I do, however, remember with some feeling one Christmas past when members of our family thought it might be nice to write a few lines to each other. It's not often sibs and parents get to write each other letters when they're all jumbled under the same roof? We popped our various lines anonymously into named envelopes. We agreed to choose a couple of things we appreciated and, too, one that kind-of drove us nuts. It was tender and funny and truthful. So many things are assumed rather than said, don't you find? Even in our oldest or most intimate relationships.

Love and thanks for the shared walk, Marylinn.
Claire x

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - Thank you so much. Do you have any idea how I enjoy keeping a topic alive through added information, observations, speculation, experiences?

I've made note of the book you mentioned, for it sounds as though you and I have company in our fluid, imprecise interpretations of time. I look forward to it.

The holidays and I have declared a truce, for I have no wish to be yet another voice of gloom and I believe I can find my own way of doing this without compromise, but also without being a pain. If we had a larger family, I can see the joy and value of the honest, anonymous comments. I can imagine it being a uniting exercise, a way to laugh with one another, even if a little grumbling was generated.

So happy to be walking with you. xoxo