I ran into a long lost friend recently. We see each other regularly, but not very often. Let’s say, once every couple of years. Just long enough to have bigger things to catch up on.
I often worry about not having the means to create as much as I’d like, forcing me to shelve ideas in my mind and hopefully preserve them. When projects finally get into the execution phase, I always feel that they have a speed that is alien to reality. I know it’s really only me and my perception of time, and my inability to not constantly be weighed down by the immediacy of things. Everything always seems to stand still, yet move so fast.
And then I meet my friend, and it’s been about two years. How’ve you been? OK and you? OK too, and what are you up to these days? This and this. — and you? This and this — and while she’s talking and I’m talking, she smiles and I do too. We realise that all’s well, that we have our ups and downs yes of course, but that we’re also slowly moving forward in a meaningful way.
The dark monster of immediacy is a paradox to me. Time itself is a constant thing, that cesium-133 atom relentlessly oscillating 9,192,631,770 times per second, ticking away tick-tock – do you realise that we only live for about 4500 weeks – but time experienced has cycles. Looking back on a life, I wish there were a way to measure those variables. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, maybe they should be called years instead of what years are now.
And now I’ve arrived at my first atomic half life. Everything from here on halved like carbon in ever-increasing speed, murderously halving the time I have left. Immediacy yet again.
A new manifesto. I hereby declare that time is precious, but not too precious. We’re only permitted to realise this preciousness every so often, so as not to be constantly frozen by it, frantically trying to hold on to something that is meant to be forever slipping through our fingers in the first place.