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Time and Some Big Questions

I've been thinking a lot about old age, how quickly it approaches while we are busy going about the business of life and how it just seems to sneak up and suddenly stare us in the face finding us quite unprepared and disconcerted as a result.  Wasn't it just a few years ago I turned thirty?  Wasn't I a fortysomething just last year? And last month, just last month, I hit my fifties-- no, wait, that was 9 years ago.  Nine years. Unfortunately, I can do the math,  I know what comes next.  Not that sixty is old, mind you, but it is so darn close to seventy and eighty, and judging from the way things have gone so far it feels like I may hit my seventies by next month and my eighties by February. Time - what a mystery.  How does it go so slow when we are having a root canal and so unbelievably fast when we are with someone we love?  How can a day drag when we are in pain and fly by when it is full of joy?  What is time, anyway - does anyone have any real proof that it exists?  Everything seems to happen right now, doesn't it? I mean, did you ever  eat a cookie, ride a bike,  make love, or iron a shirt in any moment other than a right now moment?

The past is so dreamlike, it is hard to hold on to. I recently lost my dear mother and at times I try to remember her laugh, her voice, her touch, what her hair looked like, how the skin on her arms bruised so easily and the scars marked her body from the medical procedures that were scheduled to give her more of that precious but elusive commodity, time. When I wander through my memories I can call up all those things but they are small comfort.  She was so much more than those things.  When her body ceased functioning in the critical care unit last November, it was so palpably apparent that she was no longer there.  There was the body that had carried, then betrayed her laying in the bed but my mother was gone. Gone.  But gone where? That was the question I grappled with in my grief, continue to grapple with almost a year later.  I wish I could tell you I have had a flash of insight, a vision, a dream which has given me the answer to this haunting question.  But, no, instead I have simply developed the acceptance that my mother now resides in dreams of the past.

The future, on the other hand, is not so much dreamlike as fantasy.  It is the world of possibility and potential, full of exciting ideas one moment and scary thoughts the next, depending on mood and anxiety levels. The future resides entirely within our minds and changes from moment to moment.  It is unsubstantial, unformed, not real.

So, tomorrow is not real and yesterday is like a dream. Today, then, and more importantly this very moment, is all we really have, all we have ever had.  This moment knows nothing of "time".  It is as it is-- simply, innocently and honestly. From that perspective, the thought that one is "running out of time" is laughable.

Doesn't that make every little thing in this moment seem fresh and beautiful and important?




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