Monday, August 12, 2019
I keep tracking how time and history may affect my sense of reality. Time is a huge mystery for it doesn’t exist except in the manner that humans created to dole it out. Eventually, our concept of time becomes blurred, seems to pass more rapidly. Instead of wishing for time to hurry, as we did while young, we begin wanting to hold onto moments. And, as for history, once it made more sense. In school, we learned that between certain years thus and such happened, and in ensuing years so did other major events. We learned a history sectioned into increasing knowledge that led to a modern age of industrialism, technology, and instantaneous communications.
We’ve congratulated ourselves as the smartest creatures on earth, and only lately starting recognizing that we’ve not been smart enough. We understand now that the planet’s resources are limited, that exploding populations will push social and political situations to “something like the max”. Time and history have become blurs of insensitivity.
Recently, I read that a 101-year-old woman, in an assisted-living facility and taking a poetry-writing course, had published her first and only book of poems. This after her years as a productive and creative professional, but not as a writer. I was curious about how she thinks and reflects from her aged and highly alert perspective.
I ordered and loved her book, easily readable and impressive in poems and wisdom. Here’s an example:
Meditations On Time
Time becomes slippery as we grow old,
yesterday's baby is now forty-five!
The past our parents could have told about
wasn't important when they were alive.
When she died, my mother was seventy.
We did not have the conversations then
that I do with my child, who's seventy.
Will we remember the where or the when?
Do questions important when we were young
remain as pertinent now that we're old,
are they not different, since we've lived longer?
What are the answers I would have been told?
Should we suggest to our grown children that
we use the years left to rid ourselves of
Curiosity, Resentments and Fears
and other bad thoughts that turn away love?
Clean out closets of Ruined Relations,
Hurting Feedings and Unanswered Letters.
Strenuous measures, tackled together
benefit all, the older the better.
Time is amorphous
drifts hither and yon
like a contrail in the sky
or it is stubborn
into the unexplored future
often it's rigid
cannot be bent
from one epoch
spirits in this sphere
and those who have left
can't make tears in Time's web
to reach one another
the morning paper tells me
that Einstein was right
gravity does have waves
Astonishingly, this means
that we can just now watch
two stars colliding
13,000,000 years ago
Five minutes writing time seems like a day,
Five minutes scrubbing floors can last forever.
Nowhere in books of physics have I read
that time can be elastic. It can act
as holder of a wisp of golden thread
or of a long, uninteresting tract.
Assembling my breakfast tray,
one of the rituals I invent
helps me to arrange my day.
Dear Readers: This small book is a lovely product of a wonderful mind. Diana