Saturday, December 04, 2010

Time Lies Truths

father time

They say time speeds up as you get older. I remember "old folks" saying that during my childhood. At 43, almost 44, I am one of those "old folks" that I once could not fathom being. In the mirror, I can see that time has passed, etching its passing in little lines and gray hairs here and there and places hair was never noticeable before. For the most part, I still feel like me inside as I stare into the mirror trying to recognize the child trapped behind the aging face. I know he's in there waiting on me to come back or at least play and believe with him once again. Sometimes I can hear his infectious laughter beaconing me from some far away corner of memories and time.

Its not true. Time isn't any faster or slower than it was before. There are still 24 hours in a day and 60 seconds in a day. As I get older I realize how important each of those hours should be and that I cannot get them back or create more of them. That is the truth I think they, the "old folks" were talking about. It is a wisdom that doesn't spend the attention to communication of its ideas and realities. Time is not speeding up; but running out. Getting older, I realize that there is a finish; a moment coming that I will cease, a deadline at which I will expire. Will it hurt? Will I regret the path to it? Will the little boy inside flee at its coming and leave me all alone in the darkness? I don't know. Mostly I don't care; at least not yet.

I have always understood that everything that begins ends. Sure everyone who lives long enough will go to their share of funerals. You will stand there and look at the crowd of people gathered and survey their faces for reality, understanding, answers, and questions. People deal with emotions in many different ways. I suppose emotions are like roaches; for every one you see, there are a hundred hidden just below the surface or at the edge of the darkness. When I watch people, I note that funerals and weddings are much the same. If you look at the faces deeply, you can see all the same things bubbling just below the surface. At each event, I see the inner search for the personal questions of why and why not, the reality vs the illusions, the hopes and the fears holding hands, the passing of time and the effect of being human surrounded by more humans. I've been to many wedding and funerals. I have managed to leave most of them relieved and inspired. Is it because I know what's next for them? Is it because Im glad its not me? Do I just see the joy in both situations? or Just enjoy the energy of the exchange in the crowd?

Weddings are about uniting with humanity; funerals are about reuniting with God. Each relationship hinges on time shared together and the physical expression of love; even in the midst of odd circumstances. I have watched people in deep grief and great joy; they seem much the same. The light and the shadow are each important parts of the day; without one there is not the other. There's no left without a right, no up without a down; that is the order of things. If time is more important because there is less of it; then what of the wasted time before? Some make great claims of destiny and purpose — I suppose time lays all that out in its own way like a great tapestry, one side knotted and chaotic, the other a beautiful revelation. Some of us may well be fortunate to see both sides without dying; but I would count that number few. Even at faith and belief, there is still reality in the presence of such a moment in person/spirit. At the grand reveal, most say its too late if you bet on the wrong horse; others say it wont matter, and still more say there's nothing...just nothing. Whatever it is; it just is and we will have to just live with that. From the darkness can I write with light? Can I blog from heaven? Will the charcoal of Hell lend me penmanship?

Time isn't speeding up. There's not even less of it; just for me. Time will keep going without even a blink from my lack of existence. That doesn't bother me either. My 74 year old boss often reminds us of that fact of an inevitable end but continuation. The wheel will not stop for the spec of dust in the wind. Another year comes and goes and time keeps ticking; I just don't hear it as clearly. Time doesn't even blink at my smile of joy at its passing. I will be at the wedding of death and eternity stark naked without my money, computers, toys, careers or anything else I acquired while passing time. That will be ok. What a grand ceremony....



linda said...

Your best ever!
Lots to think about here!
Love you!

Andrew Stanfield said...

Very honest, open reflection about a part of life we do not normally think about, sometimes because we're too busy, sometimes because it's unsettling. The wheel never stops turning, but that's alright. Enjoy the ride, right?