Inspired by the daily prompt ‘unstoppable’: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/
Image credit: STOCK PHOTO OF BROKEN POCKET WATCHES – IS099I55I (image source.com)
I’d like to be able to say that when I hear the word ‘unstoppable’, it brings to mind something empowering, or uplifting, like the power of love, or the strength of oppressed people facing adversity. And as much as the adjective most certainly applies to these things, the first thing that sprang to my mind was the inexorable force of time.
Time is a funny thing. It is mind-bogglingly difficult to understand from a scientific perspective: it’s the fourth dimension, you can distort it with gravity, and while I have a good grasp of physics I’m not going to even pretend I can wrap my head around it.
We, as people, try our damnedest to stop time, or to simply pause it. We take photographs to hold onto moments and freeze them in time, we procrastinate and delay doing the things that will change our lives. We buy anti-ageing creams and dye our hair and hide our bald patches, because age is a sign that, in spite of our stubbornness, our bodies cannot stop time. Nothing can.
Just as we cannot slow time down, neither can we speed it up. We force ourselves to not look at the clock ticking harshly on the wall, because maybe, just maybe, if we stop looking at it, the hands might spin to the hour that we are finally able to leave. But we are stuck, all of us time travellers, only able to travel at the rate of one second per second, and no faster. Time bends us to her will again.
The only way we can stop time is through illusion- photographs, videos, art and the like. Similarly, we cannot go back, except in memory, nor forward, only in fantasy.
Image credit:STOCK PHOTO OF CLOSE UP OF DYING PURPLE ROSE – 41PHS0006RM (image source.com)
The interpretation of the passage of time is also largely down to perception. To me, five years is a long time- it makes up nearly a third of my current life lived so far. For an eighty year old, for whom 5 years is one sixteenth of life lived, that time scale is nothing. In any given unit of time, nothing and everything can change. In ten years your life could look almost identical to the way it does now, yet in the blink of an eye you could step out into the road and your life be over.
Time also changes on a day to day basis- time with loved ones is never enough, and time doing arduous tasks never fails to drag. There are also times when that rule is turned on it’s head- pop on a bit of music, and the washing up becomes a disco for one, for example. But when you are stressed beyond belief and trying to hide it from your family, a meal becomes a test of your endurance. There are some people- and they are a wonderful rarity- where I find that time…almost balances out. Where time doesn’t rush by you, not because you aren’t enjoying yourself, but because every second feels like it is filled, to the brim, with life. Keep those people close, if you find them. They are a valuable asset to have.
This summer is the one I am meant to ensure lasts forever. It will not. We are at what is pretty much the halfway point, and I confess I haven’t done many particularly groundbreaking or exciting things-there have been a few, but not the quantity I expected. That’s alright. And I’m glad I don’t have the means to travel back and relive some parts of this summer, truthfully. My life has mostly consisted of coffee days with friends, and perhaps I will not remember the conversations, or even the occasions, but to have spent my holiday with my friends is, I think anyway, a good use of my inescapable, unstoppable, depleting time.