What is time? For those of us who are brainiacs, it might be a function of time and distance. For many of us, it is something we never have enough of. For our ancestors, it may have been months and seasons and years, rather than minutes and seconds. Sadly, for many of us, it is something we are running out of.
My thoughts on this are many and varied, and I have been thinking about this off and on for awhile now. As a result, this will probably end up in a direction far from what I anticipate, but that's where the fun comes in-to see where he is going this time, right?
I started out by thinking of my grandmother. She is 93 years old, and has altzheimers. She has had it for a couple of years now, and is currently at about the level of a 1 to 3 year old child. She is also dropping fast, and we do not expect her to live out the next 12 months. So, is she at the end of her time? With this disease, she has become a child again, at least in her mind. And isn't that where our perception of time begins? Is she young and happy again, where time ends and begins? As much as I beg my Gods to make it so, I know that it isn't. She will die alone, even though we are surrounding her. I scream out at the injustice of this, I curse my Gods for allowing it to happen, I ask....why? Why does this have to happen to her?
Why can't she have more time?
The answer is always the same-because this is the way things must be.
This led me to thoughts of The Dog. This will be a brutally hard one for me, too. The Dog is old now, she is around 14 or 15, I think. She has been my best friend and my constant companion since she was 5 weeks old, she has raised 4 kids and 3 grandkids, along with who knows how many puppies, kittens, goats, pigs, and other livestock. She is there when I get up and there when I go to sleep. She has been a vital and valuable part of my life forever, but her time is starting to run down as well. I refuse to accept that, but every time I look at her, I see....time. Running out. The grey hair that used to be brown. The scars that can be seen clearly now, but used to be hidden by hair. Brown hair! The stiffness and soreness when getting up or after we go out and play.
But I also see the 5 week old puppy who came advancing stiffly on a strange finger, and then valiantly tried to wrap her jaws around it, before being scooped up and picked above all others to go "home". I see the three month old pup who tore the house UP! until we learned that she wanted me. Not her other Big Person. not her two Little Persons, but me. As long as she could go with me whenever I left the house, she was fine. She has been by my side ever since, barring the time I went to prison. She sat in our driveway for three days, waiting for me to come home. For the next few years, she wouldn't let my wife get through the door without rushing out to the car, to see if I was there. THAT homecoming was something to see! She has literally not left my side in the last year or so.
I see the look on her face the first time I had to spank her for shitting in the house. She was so pitiful looking! One time, and she never did it again. I see the middle aged dog who took down an armed and armored cop who broke into her home and threatened her pack, and held the piece of shit there until I put a gun to his head.
I see the old and scarred up friend that I will be losing soon, and I am NOT FUCKING HAPPY ABOUT IT! I will scream and cry and curse the Gods and you and this world and everything in it on the day that this happens, because I will have a hole in my life so big that all the time in the world can't stop it from hurting.
But this really is not about The Dog, or even my grandma, for that matter.
It's about Time. We know time to be subjective, in that 60 seconds with someone you love is over in the blink of an eye, while the same 60 seconds with your hand on a hot stove lasts for an eternity. We think it had a beginning and we are not too sure if it will have an end. Not that it matters, because "we" won't be here anyway. The Human Experiment will have long since come to completion and been forgotten by then. It will have had its Time in the Sun, and Time will have moved on.
I suspect that as long as there is Time, there will be Life, of some sort. Where there is Life, there will be time for Heroes and Fools. There will be time for Wonders and Magic, Science and Technology, Fear and Laughter. There will probably even be time for another story about some sort of Boy and some sort of Dog, along with the Life that they shared. At some time in the far-off future, Life will still be Us, even though "we" are long gone.
I find it strange that when I look in the mirror, I see the effects of time, but I don't see the end of it. I know that the odds are good that, one day, I may die (I'm currently working on a way to invalidate that part of the contract, as I did not agree to it personally, but my efforts have recently stalled!), but I try and project myself into the future, and I see no end. just a gradual dwindling off into the distance of my happy little family. I'm sure that there is some perfectly sound psychological explanation like it being a survival mechanism or some such bullshit, but I really don't care. It's all about time and how you decide to perceive it, right? I look at my kids (girls, 15 and 16) and I see my babies, but when I do laundry and find their underwear and it looks like what my wife wore 20 years ago-i.e. thongs and strings, NOT tore back and scruffy!-I know time is passing. But they will be my babies forever, right? Any decent parent knows the answer to that one.
I watch Life pass by, like a boat on the river of Time. I see my wife, still hot and sexy as she was when we first met, but with a few grey hairs now. I see the sun rise and set and the seasons come and go as if I am somehow outside of Time, effected, but not affected. I wonder where I'll be, or who I'll be, when my best friend dies in my arms. I see my kids growing up and out, into their own life.
Into their own Time.
Maybe that is the secret of Time. We live on through those who follow us. As long as one person remembers you, you never really die. Time uses you as a building block for others to grow on and to have their own time in the sun, their friends, their family. Their Dog. Time is the path that passes through the gate of Death and out to the Other Side. Not with a whimper, but with a roar of triumph!
Time. What is it? Our time is different than the time on other planets, suns, solar systems, galaxies, etc. Certainly, other Life has Time as well, but is it like ours? I would say probably not. Our view of time is uniquely tied to our personal or subjective experience. That being said, wouldn't that make the concept of time the same for everyone? Perhaps Time is a paradox, being uniquely different for each uniquely different person. We agree on an objective view of Time in order to help us arrange the content of our lives, but it really doesn't mean....well, anything!
Does it? Is it the tick of the clock as another second goes by? Or perhaps the revolution of the planet around the Sun? Is it the revolution of the solar system or even the galaxy around a common center? I guess in the end, Time is whatever you want it to be. As fast or as slow, as long or as short as you can make it.
No matter what you do or who you are or may become in life, think about Time. It can be a humbling experience, when done in depth! Think about how fast it passes, and those who become part of your life while it does so. Tell your family, your friends, or others who you love how you feel about them, because tomorrow is already gone. Say thank you and smile, and maybe the Time that others spend will be made more enjoyable!
In the end, I think Time is Life. You choose how to pass both of them, but they WILL pass, regardless of your choice. Chose wisely, and always make time for your best friends.