The Confines of Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

My thoughts on how time plays a role in much more than the clock on the wall, but rather its impact on the much greater scheme both within our control and beyond our knowledge.

 

People say things get easier with time. We’ve all repeatedly heard the aphorism, “time heals all wounds,” and we all give it the merit which every individual tends to; without any real thought, we accept it and believe it. And each day passes and we forget certain pains or grudges, heartache dissipates, and life goes on. We sleep, we wake, we live our lives. We do as we were all intended to do on this planet—to exist for no apparent reason and not question the meaning behind a single beating heart as we listen to the clock ticking in the back of our minds like a bomb destined to explode into nothing. And we accept this ticking. We accept time.

Around us, there’s a whole world which we cannot even begin to fathom. Beyond this world is an entire universe, an infinity of swirling space and fire which we will never begin to come so close as to feeling the distant heat which it emits. Out there, beyond ourselves, beyond our lives, beyond all that we know and understand, time does not matter.

Yet we’re confined to live by the guidelines time forces upon us. We are forces of nature controlled by the sun, as much a part of this Earth as the trees or rivers or oceans. Technology and reasoning lie in the palms of our hands and we can see everything and study everything and document everything, but we are incapable of truly understanding the full complexity of the very world in which we live.

And when you think about it, you, your neighbor, the dog down the street, even the tadpoles that swam in that lake you used to play by as a child—they’re all controlled by one constant, unchanging factor: time. Oh, the freedom beyond the realms of time. We would have the potential to go where we pleased whenever we pleased. We could revisit that special Christmas in the house we grew up in during the times when our parents still liked each other and we were still able to feel that childhood anticipation that only Christmas can conjure. Or we could watch from afar the first time someone told us they loved us and truly meant it, and it would be almost as if we were that naïve girl again, giddy and blind, ready to take on the world but guaranteed to trip upon the first obstacle.

Yet, despite these dreams, time exists. Seconds, minutes, days that bleed into weeks which feed years… They all count for some unknown reason. And we relive these 24 hour segments, sunrise to sunset, repeat, and repeat, and repeat…

And within this realm of time resides emotions—love, hate, anger, defiance, gratitude, compassion—and they all swirl around the air and take their stay in each and every one of us when circumstance calls, only to become swept away again by the tide of what is. And we insist that time has the power to heal. That with the incessant ticking, one can find solace from whatever trial or tribulation time is patching up this round. But emotions, with all their undefined complexity, are just as infinite and fixed as time itself. A clock cannot fix pain. The hands simply circulate and carry, balancing the emotions which are unable to stand on their own yet are constantly needed. Time plays as the universe’s scale, weighing and measuring, sifting and spreading, until all is in its rightful place. We depend on time to live. We rely on it to wake up in time to make our morning shift, are thankful for it when we rush down the street for a thirty minute lunch break. But time serves to carry the baggage we cannot see. Within the straps and zippers and worn leather lies millions of soft smiles, echoes of laughter, oceans of tears and mountains of struggle. Time is the keeper of what we know exists intangibly yet simultaneously as solid as the very ground upon which we walk. It takes that beyond our control and organizes it before our very eyes, as discreet and quiet as a mother tucking in her child. And with each passing morning, with each ringing alarm or notification from our to-do lists, we allow time to carry on what was once a part of us and which will, in every way possible, forever remain a piece of who we are, who we used to be, and what we will one day become.


Submitted: June 03, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Mallory. All rights reserved.

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