I would like to thank you, first of all, for everything you’ve done – for that matter, everything you are. By our very definition, we humans are chaotic and barbaric – and without you, Time, we might give way to our more disorderly nature. You are the train conductor of our lives, tapping your pocket watch and keeping us on schedule. You regulate, and organize, and govern the world. Your existence has been the perpetuating heartbeat of ours.
And yet, for something so absolutely structured, your delineation seems rather flexible. To an impatient child, an hour can seem like a lifetime – while for an inmate awaiting his execution, it passes in the blink of an eye. You are sly and elusive in this way, and it is impossible to nail you down. We try to summarize our nebulous understanding of this phenomenon by assigning you dozens of idioms – You heal all wounds, you save us nine stitches, we race you, lose you, invest you, and borrow you – but trying to understand or capture your essence is like trying to cup water in our hands. The harder we try to hang on, the faster you slip from between our fingers.
I know, I know that somewhere in the rulebook it states that you have to move forward. You must. It is written in the laws that govern our universe, it has been proven by scientists and philosophers alike for centuries. Forward momentum seems to be the only absolute, the only concrete understanding we have about you, Time. You are a moving train, hurdling ever onward, and we are your weary passengers catching only glimpses of the passing countryside before we’re onto the next town.
But I am writing to ask of you – beg of you, really – that you cease this forward momentum immediately.
I have ridden this locomotive patiently for 24 years now. For most of that time, I have often spent too much energy lamenting the past or anticipating the future – hardly acknowledging or appreciating the “Right Now.” Which, truthfully, has been a blessing – since Right Now’s presence is always so fleeting. It is much easier to look forward or backward on the tracks than it is to try and focus on the constantly changing scenery out the window.
But here’s the thing, Time, and I hope you’ll understand. Presently, Right Now and I are getting along swimmingly. In fact, it’s more than that – I am besotted, absolutely infatuated, head-over-heels in love with Right Now. Right Now is my rock, my knight in shining armor, and I have never in my life been so attached to the landscape outside my boxcar window.
And yet I know, as certain as the setting sun, that this landscape is bound to change.
Oh, Change – Time’s other half, its alter-ego. You and Change are flip sides of the same coin, aren’t you? I cannot battle one without battling you both. So because Right Now and I are so madly, desperately in love, and Change is what is threatening to tear us apart – my only course of action is to beg you, Time, to stop altogether.
I do not want to continue plummeting forward. I do not want anything to change. I want life to stay right where it is, I want to press “pause” and enjoy this gorgeous setting for more than a passing moment.
I want off the train.
(In response to this DPChallenge)
7 thoughts on “On Train Tracks & Stopwatches”
I love this! I also sometimes have a problem with change, and you captured that feeling perfectly.
Change bring you some of the most scary, interesting and awesome times of your life. Change gets a bad rep but don’t underestimate it’s ability to make you happy.