Navigating time.

November 24, 2014 § 3 Comments

IMG_0689I like Mondays.

As a fiction writer, that’s easy to say.

I make my own hours.

If I want, my Monday can act like your Saturday  (although usually my Monday and Saturday both come down on the Monday side of things).

But it isn’t Monday’s work-week baggage or rep I’m responding to, it is the newness, the feeling of a fresh beginning.

Give me a Monday and I have a whole new week in front of me!

I feel the same about New Year’s Day—squared.  A new year is a snowfall no one has yet tracked with footprints, a blank page begging a story.

I know the markers we pin to the twisting ribbon of time: today, tomorrow, Christmas, three o’clock are human conveniences.

We measure time so we can coordinate our comings and goings—imagine planning a committee meeting if we had no common Tuesday or 10 AM—but how we perceive and manage the passage of time is personal.

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I need a sense of time that includes a lot of punctuation points. I crave beginnings and endings, the joy of picking something new up, the relief of setting it down again.

I can handle time, but only in small increments.

If I had to navigate time as one long flow, I would drown, so I swim from marker to marker, filled with anticipation as each appears on the horizon.

Time is like that, personal and circumstantial, even its speed a matter of perception.

When passing through the sludge of boredom it slows, when electrified by excitement it races.

Look around. For the guy reading the paper on the bench time is ambling. For the harried woman who has just dropped her kids at daycare and is late for work time is rushing so fast she can’t catch its coat tail–and yet both are experiencing eight AM on a Monday morning.

I sometimes think time is conscious of us; time is an expert at Simon Says. You speed up, time speeds up. But the converse is true. Stop and time will cross its arms and stand at parade rest until you move on.

IMG_0677Many days when I walk the neighborhood I pick up a fallen leaf that is particularly red, or speckled or yellow and pause to look at it long and hard.

Each leaf is a moment I then hand to Ray when I go back in the house.

A couple of hours later it will be dull, curled, and brittle, its moment past, but both Ray and I will have pinned that moment down in the act of studying it, made time wait.

When I feel time whirring, I stop it by stopping myself; stopping and observing something closely.

And when time seems too vast, my accumulated mistakes overwhelming, I look for a label that allows me to start over.

Like  “Monday.”

 

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§ 3 Responses to Navigating time.

  • KM Huber says:

    I, too, am all for Monday and all days these days. Like you, I make my own hours yet Monday has become a cherished day while the weekend can be (and usually is) work time for I have a Sunday deadline for two blog posts. Monday, however, signals the beginning of a week that is mine to choose my time for this or that. By Friday, I will feel the time crunch, again.

    Karen

    Like

    • Sunday, because it is Front Porch Library day, always feels rushed. Between baking the cake, coming up with a project, setting up the yard for the gathering, not to mention the two hours of library mayhem, I invariably tell Ray, “I am so tired,” at least ten times every Sunday evening. Come Monday the pressure is off. i just know I will come up with some cool project for the next Sunday–but not until about Saturday. Ah, Monday, the day of rest.

      Like

  • Lovely – appreciations.

    Like

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