Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Once upon a [ fill in the blank]

More than once, many times more, in fact, one of your parents told you, "The time will come when you'll see for yourself why this [fill in the blank] isn't a good idea," and shortly thereafter, the other of your parents [fill in the blank] would tell you, "Listen to your [mother/father] because {he/she] will prove out to be correct."


At least once, the person you thought would become your mother-in-law told you, "This isn't the right time for you two."

You've lost count of the number of situations in which you were told by a wide variety of individuals, "There will come a time when you will see the wisdom behind what I'm telling you." Nor can you recall the number of circumstances where you were told you were too early, too late, out of time, had come at the wrong time, your timing was off, that this [fill in the blank} was not a good time, or the even more peremptory, "Not now. Maybe some other time."

Time is a unit of drama in which certain events began or, in appropriate fashion, failed to begin. Each incident has its own length, reminding you that so long as a sentence has a subject and predicate, perhaps the occasional adjective, it can be of any length and, in your case, often is.

Time is also a unit of measurement in which you decide you don't have time for {fill in the blank] this. or the length of interval needed for someone to finally tell you what they think of you or of something you've done or not done.

In the best sense, time is highly volatile, even more highly composed of subjective subparticles which somehow combine to make a whole that encourages, exacerbates, frustrates, ratifies, validates you. You've never truly calculated how long you've needed to get from Point A to Point B if there had been no imperative for you to quit dithering and get your ass over to Point B. You're only aware of such things as lateness or missed connections until you've waited for someone to show something, even if the thing the person showed you was up or appearance.

Sometimes, you find yourself wondering about the possible duration of a relationship or the length of a story or the amount of time between this immediate moment and the time you can with plausible reason expect to be paid for work you have performed or for an item you have offered for rent or sale.

Time is how long you will need to produce the remaining paragraphs of a short story or the final chapter of a book. The fact of the short story being of fewer words does not in any way mean you will need less time to produce those paragraphs as opposed to the amount necessary to complete the book.  In either case, the outcome is at best mischievous, possibly even manipulative.

The least important aspects of time are the number of seconds in a minute, the number of minutes in an hour, the number of hours in a day, the number of days in a regular year or a leap year. These measurements, while of significance, can also be tossed in the dust heap of overuse, the length of time someone judged you by when she or he felt you were dithering or somehow withholding necessary action.

There may be no time like the present but there are times which, for the best of reasons, you'd like to forget, to keep as out of the metric as possible, simply because you've come to have a different understanding of those and similar behavior patterns of which, at present, you are far from proud.

However difficult the prospects of getting an measure of any given length of time, we know from ancient cliche that it and tide wait for no man, although they thus far have obeyed the priorities of  Nature with regard to the wax and wane of tide. In your own experiences with it, you understand your ability to set yourself as an alarm clock, waking up within moments of s specified time, say six thirty of a morning. 

You also know that if you happen to fall awake at four with your inner alarm set for six, those two hours before six will elapse with a leaden pace, but if you should happen to regain sleep at, say four thirty, staying asleep until five forty five, you'd better get up then.  The closer you come to six, the greater the speed of elapsed time.

This may well have been what Einstein meant when he spoke of relativity. You do know that your computation or expectation relative to time is idiosyncratic, seeking ways to work against you, in a sense much as water seeks its own level and will thus rise to the level of some far away, unanticipated reference point.

So far, you don't feel competitive with time; you left home on grant terms, even scoring in the process a sofa your aunt had intended for your mother, and so far as you're aware, is telling for you in a most agreeable way.

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