It rushes by us, faster than the spring winds, with fewer concerns. Each second racing, tumbling over the one that came before it, as if all of time were in some mad dash to the finish, anxious to leave us old, worn out, and crumbling in the dust. We sit there in a stupor, and wonder where did all the time go?
As a child, it seemed so infinite, yet as we grew older time grew stronger, practicing its running every day. Without our realizing it Time began to run quicker and quicker. Suddenly we turn, as if in slow motion, and watch the infinite quickly dwindle as furious colors smear past us in a thunderous maelström of pounding hooves and flashing Jodhpur. The children of our friends only serve to remind us how only yesterday we were a small child visiting granny and grandpa; the aunts, uncles, and cousins; and stuffing our faces with turkey, pickles, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, wondering at the aged and wrinkled visages of our “elderly” relatives. How naïve were we! Our youth was fleeting and we had no idea! We little knew or cared that we were hurtling toward becoming one of those haggard grey countenances. When I return to Thanksgiving with the family, some of those old faces are no longer at the table. New bubbly faces take their places. We are now the aunts and uncles, the children are our own. We have traded places with that previous generation: our parents and their cousins and siblings. And they with our grandparents and their siblings. Now, our grandparents and their generation are the ones that may soon no longer be with us.
Time cares for naught of these existential musings, though it is the source of great anguish. I watch time swift flow by, as if in a dream, yet when I call attention to the fact that I acutely feel this passage many attempt to reassure with the trite tripe, “Oh don’t worry! You still have plenty of time!” But we don’t. Time marches on. Time stops for no one. The Night-watchman cometh. The Reaper takes his due, and not one of us can elude that master hunter, or cheat the game he has rigged against us.
There is no time like the past, which is but a fading impression, a phantasm that may never have grazed us. If only we could recall. If only we could remember all those joys and sorrows, those loves and hates, the heights and depths, the fun and the boring! If only we could recall with poignant clarity all of our lifetimes experiences. Instead they all melt slowly away, leaving only the vague impression and a certainty that we must have had these things and experienced these moments, if only we could recollect them, and polish the dust from those trunks and cases! Alas! The mists have been cleared away by the wind, and replaced only by twilight. And so it goes. Life goes on.
I have read about, and seen movies about the world as it was in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It seems as though we are speaking about ancient Rome, or the Pyramids. And yet there are people alive who lived then, who remember the 20’s and 30’s. They have seen so much in such short time. And honestly what is 80 years? A Twinkle? A Flash? Those young adults that we remember as college students, when we were children? They are now middle-aged, and many are approaching their twilight years! Youth is wasted on the young.
It is the greatest and most valuable resource in the world, and we are content to trade our youth and our time for a few trinkets, and some stupid money. It means nothing, does nothing, is nothing. It is devoid of meaning. Entertainment is merely a distraction. We give the masses something to focus on, other than their own debilitating, overwhelming, mediocrity. They become mindless drowning consumers, and we administer the morphine to ease the agony of their own bullet-ridden flesh. We are part of the Carnival mask the grotesque society uses to cover its aging hideous face from itself. We keep society from looking to closely beyond the mask, and certainly do not let them remove the performance makeup to examine the wrinkling sagging skin. We hide the blemishes under another coat, while the rust eats away the substance within. The decay deepens and corrodes: more boys go off to war, more corporations exploit the free market, more lawyers, bankers, and health care professionals exploit the poor distracted uninterested masses as they zombie-like lurch toward their mass-graves.
To – What – End?
Maybe that is the problem: we are heading for an end of our own self-fulfilled prophecy, and we do not look to trying to secure the survival of the world, or the continuance of the infinite diversity in infinite combination. We each try to secure our own little corner, in our petty games and then we die, leaving piles of trash behind us. Some only have a shopping cart, or a trailer filled with trash. Some have 15 homes on 4 continents not to mention acres upon acres or massive skyscrapers, all filled with trash. Bigger piles of trash mean I win? But I die. And you die. And he who dies with the biggest pile doesn’t win. Big piles do not mean happiness. We are just rats in a cage, pushing the red button, and running through the Minotaur‘s maze, sans golden thread.
We must enjoy Love whenever, and wherever we can find it. Real love comes along infrequently. Sometimes it is only meant to last for a moment, but when you find it enjoy it while it lasts, for circumstance and life will kill it, separate it, or render it impractical. It is better to love for a short while, than to let the mind kill it with rationality. Enjoy and feed the spark whenever and however you find it.
We are lonely people wandering alone in a dark, cold world searching for glimpses of light and warmth. Whenever you find a hearth, even if just for a night, cherish the connection. Cherish the moment you share, for it is even more precious because it is doomed. It is more beautiful because it cannot last. That tragic love is the best kind, for it is entered freely, given purely, and enjoyed without regret.
“Dare you take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?” -Inception
I sit on the grassy bank, my toes dangling past the trout in the burbling stream. The water never stays still, and is never the same.
The freeway rushes on a hundred yards or so behind me. I hear the mad honks of frustrated drivers rushing slowly to their pitiful goals. I watch as the golden sun sets behind the glowing green of the trees, the sky a kaleidoscope of colors. I sigh to myself, dust off my bum, put on my shoes and trudge back to my car. I put the car in gear, and wearily rejoin the routine ingrained bumper-to-bumper throngs, and I disappear into the evening.