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Time and Time Again...



I've never been able to nail down a consistent concept of time. Even the rate that a clock moves can be different depending on whether it's above or below sea level.


Throughout the last week over conversations with friends, I kept hearing the phrase "time is flying by" while at other times the consensus is that "time is dragging on" or "that month felt like an entire year."


We're reminded of time's peculiar pace and unbound form through aging and learning life's lessons.


Occasionally, we're reminded of its hallucinogenic quality when we disconnect and feel suspended in time as if we are nothing more than a fragment from a recently wished-upon dandelion as we float on the warm whisper of a summer breeze; carrying with us wishes and desires that once put out into the world, bare the manifestations and dreams of a reality not yet realized.


I have memories of being in Kindergarten, folding the stems of dandelions onto one another until I had made a crown and a green and yellow-stained mess of my already paint-covered hands.


The hands of a six-year-old have always struck me as one of those sacred delicacies in life. Holding the aluminum heat-sealed edges of a Capri Sun Fruit Punch Juice, the hands of a six-year-old seem to operate by a completely separate switchboard than the one their racing minds take orders from.


"Don't touch this" or "that's hot, you'll burn yourself" are two statements that trigger the firing of the formerly mentioned switchboard and cause the little, delicate hands of a six-year-old to function with full autonomy from the rest of their marginally-disciplined, developing mind.


I think as we age, we bridge this gap between the two; between our thoughts and our actions... some more quickly than others but what does it mean to be "quick" anyways? Perhaps being "quick" is just another deception that is a byproduct of the peculiar ticking of time.


Isn't it mystifying to have two memories years apart, that both feel as tangible and accessible as if they occurred yesterday, and within a few hours of one another, no less?


We share this eternally deepening desire to speed up time and slow it down. We yearn for the omniscient sovereignty to control an entity that we as humans created yet feel we have no agency over.


However, I imagine if you have children (and even if you don't) you can understand the disconnect between creating something and being able to control it.

Like my brother as an unruly three-year-old aimlessly running around a gymnastics gym (as captured on an ancient artifact that is a VHS home video), we can chase our creation to what feels like no-end until we make a misstep and find ourselves overwhelmingly encumbered by the germ-infested foam blocks that fill the pit we now find ourselves in.


From this view, we are humbled... humbled to see the world from a lower vantage point; both mentally and physically as you try to jumbo-step your way out of the blocks while realizing that though your memories of being an energized tyke are not far removed, your ability to be small and agile is.


But that's just another one of those unwelcome thoughts that remind us of our inability to control something we created... time.