RECENTLY MY AMAZING-MISSUS AND I SAW ABOUT TIME, a new film by Richard Curtis. We're big fans of his films. Judging by the fact that we were two of about six people in the theatre, not enough people saw it. I hope you were one of them.
If not, raise your right hand and repeat after me: "I promise I will rent and watch About Time as soon as it's available."
[Note to all the "Pops" out there: the DVD release date of About Time is February 4, 2014. It could be a smart thing to get it and watch it with your significant other(s).]
I am fascinated by time. It's mysterious and precious. It is the basic rhythm of our lives and we need rhythm. Let that little ticker in the center of your chest stop and see what I mean. Check out my post on the autumnal equinox (it's better than it sounds).
Time is weird. We talk about "saving" time, but we know we can't. Try stuffing a few hours in a piggy bank and you'll find out those hours aren't there when you go back to get them. You can't even get back the time you spent pondering how fast the time goes.
Each year for the past three we've taken our oldest grand-girl, Karlee, to see The Nutcracker. I was looking at the photos I took of her next to the nutcracker at age four and this year at five. I commented that before long she would be able to look him in the eye. And then I thought, "NO! Slow this all down."
We have a friend named Traci. She is originally from Keyes, Oklahoma. Traci is one of those people that when you spend time with them you feel like a better person and that the world is a better place. She has a sort of eternal youthfulness. I think I've figured out why.
If you're in Keyes, Oklahoma, Traci's hometown, you can jump in the car (or more likely, the pickup), drive an hour, then check your watch. You will find it is the same time as when you left. Really. It's like the hour didn't pass. Maybe Traci did that--a lot.
Saturday, December 21st is the Winter Solstice. If you live, as I do, in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the shortest day of the year. Well, that's not exactly right. It will have 24 hours just like all of our other days. It's just that more of those 24 will be dark than any other day of the year. So if you're a bat or vampire, this is your day.
What makes something timeless--not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion?
To me, many stories are timeless like To Kill A Mockingbird. But I don't know why. Songs like: Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Amazing Grace, and Silent Night are timeless; but why?
I don't need to be timeless, but I do want to make the most of the time. I once told my muse, Kathleen, that one of the words and realities I hate most is squander. Squandering is as ugly as it sounds.
I wouldn't mind living long, but when it comes to death, I agree with Woody Allen: "I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens."
A couple of years ago, I had a surgical procedure. I guess it was sort of elective--it's not like I had a heart attack or anything. During the surgery, they stopped my heart. I don't know for how long, but it seems to me that I shouldn't have to count that time. Right?
It's kind of like Traci from Keyes. By now, you no doubt have figured that puzzle out. If not, Keyes is out toward the end of the Oklahoma Panhandle. If you drive west from Keyes for about 50 miles you go from the Central Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone where it is an hour earlier.
Maybe it's just that in places like Keyes, Oklahoma, time moves more slowly. Traci is the only person I know from Keyes, but if folks out there are anything like her, they laugh more, they live in the moment a little more, they don't squander time or friendships.
So Saturday at sunset maybe we'll raise a glass to the Winter Solstice. Do it early though: night is coming fast--literally and proverbially. So let's make a toast to timelessness. And whatever you do, slow down and savor, don't squander.