On time

Time goes by uninterrupted and yet we consider it to be relative. Going by painfully slowly when we’re bored, tired or unhappy, and tortuously fast when we’re having fun. We have personified time in clocks and watches, believing we can actually see it in this way, thereby comprehending it. And yet most clocks and watches are still counting seconds in staccatos, as if time stops… even for a fraction of a second.

Consider all the expressions we have: buy time, waste time, bide time, spend time, kill time, as if it’s ever really ours to buy, spend or kill.

We are all equally in time.

It cannot pass us by and we cannot outrun it. We fluidly and linearly flow with it; unceasingly, unflinchingly, and without a choice.

So why does it seem so relative? Why does an hour of bliss last a second, and an hour of misery an entire century? I believe it is because it is the one thing we will never be able to control or tame. If it really exists it does so in spite of us, and we, limited as we are by our lifespan, cannot possibly conceive of something that never… stops. So the reason we lose track of it when we’re happy is because, in this higher state of consciousness, our brains are able block out everything else. But when we are wallowing in our own misery is when we’re all too aware of it, and each second becomes a herald of all the unwanted thoughts we have ever entertained.

And we loathe its power over us, unable or unwilling to accept that it is self-imposed.

Now memories… memories are time caught in limbo. Happy memories we hold on to like sails in a storm. Striving to keep them in place, despite the inevitability of defeat. They become faded, hazy, deformed and are oxidised to the point where our desires give them their final fickle form. Sad memories resemble mistakes we wish we could take back; they creep up and surprise us with a force that is overwhelming in its agony.

But we need both. For memories are possibly the only way we can ever comprehend the meaning of time… and that is to live it.

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