I have a love hate relationship with time. I can waste it, lose myself in it, and fear it. Rarely, however, do I revel in it. In my younger days, I impatiently speeded time up so I could obtain things (a car to drive, a college acceptance to take me out of an oppressive small town, or a degree to let me graduate). As I grew older I desperately expanded my time so I could acquire more things (recognition at work, political victories, or trivia masquerading as knowledge).
Too soon I regretted lost time as I either failed to obtain, or (more often) failed to keep, those things I sought (loved ones passed, relationships failed, and ambitions crumbled).
Far more eloquent voices than mine have addressed these problems. Time quotes. Perhaps my favorite comes from Shakespeare when he speaks to the seven stages of man, with its wondrous opening “All the worlds a stage, And all the man and women merely players: They have their exits and entrances. These observers, whether cynical or optimistic, all boil life down to one premise, life is too damn short so try to [fill in blank — enjoy it, fulfill a spiritual quest, or be a millionaire before thirty].
Given all the philosophers have analyzed time how come so few “get it?” Einstein wisely noted “the only reason time exists is so everything doesn’t happen at once.” Einstein Quotes – Quotes by Albert Einstein. Unfortunately as a “proverbial person of the earth” (aka not the brainiest of souls) I find even brilliantly insightful abstractions hard to grasp. Mostly I can’t apply abstractions for I find reacting easier than planning. When this proclivity leads me to help someone it’s great. When it drags me to a temper tantrum it’s awful. But nothing is black and white.
Ultimately – or at least for tonight – I see time as the currency making the world go round. Before we learn better we need youth’s impatience to motivate us. Currently I see the acquisition stage, outside of people to love (both platonic and romantic), as highly overrated. (Odd since given my numerous collections friends and relatives keep threatening to put me on A&E Hoarders)In contrast I view the regret stage as vital to learning life’s lessons. (Yes, you can spend – and god knows I have spent – too much time wallowing the sea of regret.) But the pain, much like grabbing a mule’s attention for training purposes, drives the lesson home.
Speaking to my personal experience I can affirm forgiveness relieves the pain. William Blake wisely wrote “it is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” However, far better to surrender pride than lose all contact with someone whom you once loved. Maybe it won’t work out but then you have stopped renting them space in your head (uncollected rent I might add). Again time helps – when you have it to give – because it dulls the painful edges. Still, as noted above, we never own time so careful with gambling on it.
Much later I will post on the hardest thing of all, forgiving myself. However, in the interim it’s back to pictures and design.