Archive for the ‘time’ Category

Time. What to do with it?

“My God!”

“What do I do with the child flying down the yellow and red waterslide headfirst into the bright blue pool below?”

“It so beautiful, I want to stop time, and just sit and treasure the water, the child, the sunlight, the smile, the blue and the yellow and red for just a moment.”

“Can I, please?”

But instead at this very moment in time —  I am not in the waterslide moment in time — but I am seated on my couch at home and I am typing, the sound of the keys slipping from the immediate present into the immediate past,  and yet the present is so instantly transformed into the past that I am not at all sure that I can detect the flow.

I just finished that sentence that ended in “flow,” and the refrigerator just started humming, and the cat just left the couch beside me but as soon as I type out these events they are past.

What you are reading right now — in the present — are words I created in the past, and even as your eyes move to the next word, that word is transformed into the past for you. My past writing — as you read it in the present — immediately enters your past.

In essence: My present becomes my past becomes your present becomes your past while rushing toward the future — this is time.

Odd.

Amazing.

Slippery.

Fascinating.

Time is the progression of existence and events rushing in a seemingly irreversible  direction, the past gobbling up the present and the future opening its mouth to gobble up them both.

Time is an arrow dragging us with us through the air as we fly over the landscape of existence.

Or is the arrow only in our minds? We don’t know, for sure.

What to do?

For one — although we cannot seem to hunt time down, put it in a box or bank or test tube and stop its flow in order to examine it — we can enjoy it.

How?

By leaning into every moment, by slowing time down so to speak by focusing on what is right in front of us and deep seeing it for what it is and what it does in the immediate moment in which it occurs.

Time brings reality to our doorstep, but it is our choice, and our honor, and our privilege to shake hands with it and hug it and appreciate it — or not. Time brings loss and gain, well-being and pain, beauty and ugliness near and then makes it the past. Our privilege is to peer in on it intently. Our gain is in experiencing time deeply, and in savoring it deeply, and in noticing it keenly.

Earlier this week I saw a child on a waterslide, flying down a rubber slope, splashing into a clean pool below, fingers extended to slow the ending, face lighting up with sheer water-good, safe-and-well, time-immersed joy. The child, for me, was the arrow of time slicing through good air, earth, fire and water toward the good and persistent future.

I saw it! I was there.

I saw her — the lovely child — sliding down the slide as the culmination of my recent work, my current life, my immediate purpose. I was on the team that built the wall that inclosed the courtyard, that sheltered the grass that held the waterslide that slid the child that made the gorgeous, lovely, happy moment possible!

And to the extent that I was hyper-attentive, and saw the smile framed by the flying water droplets that flew through safe-air that rose high into the divine and holy moment at the amazingly beautiful REFINERY  Church — to that extent I truly experienced and understood time.

Time — that bright, sharp, fast arrow just keeps flying — and here I am, finishing my ruminations this morning, and then I am off to work, and you too, moving on now, to something else besides reading what I have written for you.

And yet, it is good, it is all good, and it is ours, our existence, our door to keep opening, our arrow, our child, our experience to love, and to savor.

Do that, savor time, luxuriate in time, splash in time, dive into time even as it dives into you, and even as it flows now into the next savory moment of your existence, for in it, in time — and in Him, in God, the creator and the master of time — you live and move and have your beautiful ever-flowing being.

For the good life, do this: Deep savor time today — and keep an eye out for joyful children on water slides.

We see through a lens — always.

I’ve gone to three weddings this summer. They were most beautiful with their fresh white table cloths, hanging cafe lights,  layered cakes and dancing bridal parties, at the edge of the good life, perhaps — and perhaps also — at the edge of what is absolutely and stupifyingly terrifying.

At each lovely wedding, the bride was filled with hope, the groom most proud. She had found someone who loves her. He had found the one within the one of the most holy one. And I hoped with them, and felt proud with them. It was happening again. The beautiful life I have lived was happening again — to them.

What lies ahead for these new, hopeful voyagers? What lies ahead as they peer into the clear, bright future through clean, freshly crafted, personal lenses? For them, the greatest adventure is what lies ahead, but it is also in what lies behind what lies ahead. What lies behind what lies ahead is them, their family history, the things that have influenced them, their DNA and their choices.

Ahead they will see perfect little baby girls and boys — perhaps; a new home in a good school district — perhaps; beautiful vacations in beautiful places — perhaps; good jobs and needed income — perhaps; a deeply maturing love and acceptance — perhaps; but also, just perhaps, they may find disability and disfigurement — perhaps; spousal betrayal — perhaps; loss of jobs and income — perhaps; unimaginably broken moments on cracked and broken floors — just perhaps.

I so hope not. God have mercy! Christ have mercy!

But this is for sure: youth is the lens which time will bend.

In beauty and in its loss, and in hope and in disappointment, in sickness and in health we all will live and more and have our hyper-definitive, super-retentive and revised-inventive being.

And time will bend the lens.

My hope, for myself and for all of my gorgeous, smooth-skinned, shinning-hair, bright-eyed lovelies is that age may increase magnification — and gentleness.

We live toward events — Christmas, graduation, marriage,  a new baby, a vacation, a dinner, a movie.

This summer I’m looking forward to some lazy days at the beach. In the fall, I’m looking forward to going to Boston. Next year I hope to celebrate the opening of our new courtyard at church.

And yet the bulk of time, for me and everyone, is in between. The mass and weight and stretch and bend of ordinary time — the time that exists before and after planned, traditional events — is also worthy of being loved and lived for.

We see it not. In between — or what we think of as in between — we tend to drudge. We poke through the present. We endurer the workday. We get through the night. We lean toward the future with a biased eye, as if the present were itself not eventful.

And yet, what is true is that no time is in between time. The present moment is always in itself an event — voluable, celebratory, sentient, real, semantic, phonic, rich. Every moment of life is consequential, the phone call at work with which we stretch out and touch another human being, the drive home through the community, the “Hi” at the threshold — every second worthy!

The next event is always the next moment, and the present moment is always the next event arrived at the doorstep.

Therefore, wise ones, banish in between! Don’t think about tomorrow, because tomorrow has no thought for itself. Declare love to the present, embrace the now, kiss the instant, revel in the second, praise the nanosecond!

There is no time like this time!