Monday, October 15, 2007

Time Out

Rebellious with the impatience that comes between enthusiasms or their ranting opposites, I took myself to Peet's Coffee & Tea this morning, much the way Ishmael, of call me fame, took to the Pequod. I was of a mood to stay if anyone I knew seemed available; otherwise I would get my latte to go and return to the world of rebellion. As I opened the door, I was approached by a young mother, festooned with a child who, from her appearance, was every bit as rebellious in feeling as I was. The child wanted nothing less than complete attention from her mother.

I held the door open and nodded sympathetically as mother, her own coffee, and the draped child took the opportunity afforded by the opened door. "Perfect timing," she said by way of thanks, and was gone.

But not forgotten.

Perfect timing for her meant me holding the door open. Perfect timing for me meant a mind-clearing whiff of constructive thought. Perfect timing is the timing we appreciate when events favor us. Miserable timing can include such variables as a missed appointment, unanticipated delays on the 110 (aka The Santa Monica Freeway) eastbound. It can be a dropped forward pass, getting an idea for a story when such inspiration can only create a massive fubar conflict, or encountering an individual who could well be a splendid lover out of synchronousness. Perfect timing can be taking the right course at the right time or getting off the 101 at Castillo Street before the traffic southbound becomes positively sclerotic.

All artistic endeavor involves timing, the awareness of beats, events, techniques.

Not this time, a journal to which I send stories informs me. Maybe next time.

Not at this time, a story I begin tells me, wanting more time to mull over the implications or, better still, wanting a different attitude from me before it can make its way through the keyboard and onto the screen.

I found such a story in that great meeting place for me of things, the garage. I discovered it while searching for notes to a lecture I had some hopes of outlining but which wanted a minor palace rebellion and accordingly reminded me of the garage. Timing, you see, was everything. There was the story, which I had set aside as though it were Butterfly and I Pinkerton. I'll be back. Trust me.

This time I mean business, as though all those other times, I didn't.

Time. The interval between enthusiasms.

Excuse me; suppose one is in a constant state of enthusiasm?

Is blog a metaphor for life or is life a metaphor for blog?

Compare and contrast the uses of time between hunters and gatherers and agriculturalists.

Are women really better hunters and gatherers because they can find things in supermarkets and men can't?

Can a man of modest means and intelligence find his way around time?

What is it that Time knows when persons say, "Time will tell."?

Is the Time that heals all wounds a covert HMO?

Ah, the quidities.

Time to go.


R.L. Bourges said...

All of this resonates (including the mother wishing she owned a Ganesha-like third arm - preferably in her forehead and retractable) but also
- "fubar conflict" if I use fubar in its mathematical application i.e. as the illustration of what happens when you try to reconcile metric and imperial units of measure, a potent metaphor for the likes of this commentator;
- "...a story...wanting a different attitude from me..." resonates to my inner ear like the ping of a tuning fork.

Smiler said...

I could almost hear the metronome in the background as I was reading this piece. Didn't really notice it's presence until you said "time to go" and then it stopped. To me, time used to bear many consequences, it was a cruel and relentless taskmaster when I was working on dealine. Now it has very little meaning since I've stopped racing with it in an effort to regain my sanity. Now I only get a sense of time when I look in the mirror, expecting to see a five year old. Time eventually stops for all of us, and yet, it just keeps marching on. Does it exist? Doesn't it? I guess it's all a matter of perspective.