Friday, October 23, 2009

Not quite a rant, but maybe a ramble

The kitchen clock stopped working at least 2 years ago. Both of my old, but not vintage, wristwatches need batteries. Time and I have reached a different plateau in our relationship.

We do have a few clocks, our cell phones and, if I pay attention, the angle of sunlight to help me know when a call needs to be made or dinner started or if I can get those last dishes washed before FRINGE comes on. But time is not the companion I once thought. For many years I truly saw my life as endless, impossible-to-win rounds of BEAT THE CLOCK. So many tasks and deadlines in any given day, no lazing, no lolling. Family members who balked at restaurant Thanksgiving dinners (before the supermarkets started selling whole meals, pre-cooked), Christmas eve, Christmas morning, Christmas day cooking and entertaining. Self-assigned hour thieves like writing class or public access tv training, 12-step programs, volunteer newsletter editing, rubber stamp art and early-morning walking. I had to be stopped and I was. (Reminder: thank body for wisdom which far exceeded that of brain.)

For me, time is a thing that know it was there yet when it has gone, no trace, not even a water line, remains. My perspective is greatly skewed - whether that is good or not, I can't say - and what I think has been a few weeks is actually six or seven months. And then I started listening to talks by people who understand things like energy and physics, who say things such as, "Everything is now." And for a flickering I have a glimpse of what they may be telling us. Concepts appear to me either as visuals or metaphors, or a combination, and I saw time as a bowl of water, out of which I believed I'd been asked to construct something solid and dimensional, as I might have done with a bowl of clay. But it resisted all my efforts to shape it into something that could be called tangible. It was still there, it just wouldn't behave.

My studio bulletin board once held a quote clipped from somewhere that said, "Life should feel like floating." It is more than that, it IS floating, allowing us and all our hours to be here AND there simultaneously. We are at once walking histories of all we've done or seen or heard and also repositories of ages, eons, wisdom and dreams from every direction and distance. This is information that I process slowly, incrementally, noticing without much surprise that there might be a reason why I've always been drawn to stories of time travel. I don't think (speaking of time) that it is too late to learn what physics can teach or perhaps it is a variation on that discipline which holds the answers. My advice? Avoid all who would have you believe that life is not a mind-expanding experience, that all walls are solid and time is just numbers on a clock.

I grew up among people who believed passionately that THIS was not the whole of anything. One of the few teachings I retain from a junior college geology class comes from Edward Teller. We listened to a tape of one of his lectures in which he described everything we could possibly imagine or guess at in the universe - picture great minds really stretching - as being (I quote as accurately as possible) "...a goldfish in a fishbowl on the back of a great white elephant." Will we grasp the lessons that don't match anything we thought we knew? Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

I slept through my first 36 years, to be awakened rudely by the truth.

Now in the second half, I stay awake as much as possible, alert to truths and trying not to feel betrayed.

I feel it slipping too, but have always walked, like the empress inthe tarot, with one foot here and one foot in the other realms.
And like the Empress in the tarot, there are always new things to give birth to.

I think you'd like my gorgeous partner's time travel machine..he is also a fan.

india flint said...

there's a lovely poem by Louis MacNeice
'time was away and somewhere else'
best not to contemplate the universe, i find
brain threatens to implode
much better sniffing roses out in the garden