Posts Tagged ‘time’

The unassuming nature of the word “quiet” belies its importance in the smaller and larger matters of life.

Used to gear down a small child, describe an uneasy peace between adults or countries, demonstrate a quality of character, or illustrate the strength of a musical or other passage, quiet capably holds down its real estate in the semantic world.

Today, I closed my bedroom door quietly, to support the sleep of an older child who is off tomorrow to the start of the next year at university.

As I pulled the door to, the joy of his arrival, the sadness of his departure, and the giftedness of it all played into the careful maneuvering of the door.

Letting go of the handle, the scene sped forward to quietly closed doors in houses that are less full, and further on to the unbroken quiet of homes where years have emptied the beds of all but the elderly.

Yet quiet also beckons reflection. It conjures memory, pierces the veil of everyday illusion, and offers opportunity to sort and put pieces together—or back together.  Quiet is both a universal solvent and adhesive that is a close relative of time and perhaps even soul itself.

Though simple, there is a lot to the word “quiet.”

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No time, every second spent twice.  Finally space to fill, computer on…no “connection.”

The screen tells me “working on updates.”

Progressing from 100 percent, to zero percent, to 30 percent complete.

Life–you start at 100 percent, and spend the rest of the time working on updates.

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What would you choose to do, if you knew you could not fail?

How would you spend moments,  make memories, and move forward?  What would you do?

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Night Air

Eternity is out tonight, crowding empty streets.

Time’s arrow, the young turn elderly, generations blend, age, pass.

Unnoticed except by some in the larger moments.

Perhaps it is the snowflakes.  Countless souls against the night sky.

Something in the air, eternity is out tonight.

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Anonymous souls are out tonight, on the road, in stores, in their homes.  Gather tradition close, loved ones closer, the depth in this night draws near.

If presents be had, they are opened, old wounds fare the same.  For those who observe Christmas, or did at one time, this is a night when years pass by in the air.  They lightly brush the face just enough to be noticed before moving slowly on.

Where I am, there is snow, quiet, icy in places, fresh in others.  Life is like that.

Eternity is an effective leveler, anonymous souls are out tonight.

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On walkabout.  Misty day, saturated colours, melted snow.

Rounding down a street, two pieces of a sectional couch wait patiently by the curb.  Trash day, on their way out.

Next door, a big screen television of relatively recent vintage eyes its prospects as it too accompanies a trash can.

A few more paces and an elderly woman friend stops her car to talk to me.  Just back from an ultrasound, some problems, hoping it is nothing.

On the seat by her purse is a tidy bag of plastic Christmas cookie cutters.  Small talk finds its way there.  She does not make cookies anymore and neither apparently does her daughter.  Do I want them? Fond of such things, I readily accept and thank her.

Hopefully we will know about the ultrasound soon.

Of things that wait patiently.  Once new, the future of these things is now not so clear.  The cookie cutters will soon mingle with their kind, holding much more than the shapes they represent.

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Looking at a wall calendar,  it was September before I knew it.  The picture is Zions National Park in Utah, a place I have set foot.

I know the texture of the scrub grass, the look, feel and warmth of sandstone and the terrain it creates.  Dry places interspersed by cold stream or river.  Changing treeline, now deciduous, then coniferous, I have touched those anonymous twisting trunks.  Blue plateau in the distance.  Shape, color and setting unique on the planet.  Even the air, the whiff of sage in the breeze.  Sparse.  Big sky, I can breathe.

We visit places, but if touched deeply, do we ever leave?  Transit through memory of image.  Is it illusion that I sit in a chair, in my home office, washing machine gently chugging, crickets sounding through open windows?  With age I understand no tickets are needed to ride.

I wish I were there.  Maybe I am.

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The seasons turn faster, the days run shorter, each moment sinks deeper.


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It is, after all, an issue of shadows.

School pictures for 7th grade yesterday.  Unbeatable, repeatable smile, no problem there.  On second glance, shadow in the background.  A gloaming no adjustment of camera or upfront lighting could touch on my son’s shirt.  Thoroughly flustered, the photographer retreated to query superiors for tips, while the line backed up 20 to 30 deep.

To amuse the gathering, the old toy dinosaur I keep for evoking smiles on just these sorts of occasions wrecked havoc on the countryside while waiting for news.

No fix, the shadow would have to stay for now, they would retake as many students as they needed to later, but had to get going with the line.

Even the young have shadows, creeping content foisted on them, waiting in the background, like today, just touching their shirts.  I admire my son, for his strength, the character he has shown to those who show him little respect, and for his ability, so far, to keep his voice about him – to speak for himself, even as shadows reach for him.  He has pluck and maturity beyond his years.  I deeply regret the need for that early maturity.  His path, like many, is struck early.

More doings at the school today, last day for school pictures.  Drifting through the room I inquired about the shadow problem.  The problem had been addressed – a back light had faced the subject, rather than the background screen, causing a shadow.

Too much light focused on my son, instead of the background, in life,  where it belonged.  The inequity, improper brightness, attention, brought out the shadow, a shadow easily dispersed when light was rightly refocused.

The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow, a moment of brilliance evokes shades of every sort.  I know not the path of this one, my son, I can only stand by as the light, the attention, comes and goes, some wanted, some not, and to note the shadows that gather to watch.

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