You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
– Time, Pink Floyd
I look at my daughters, four and six. I watch them dart around the garden. Doing everything at once and nothing at all. And I yearn so badly to be a child in that moving but endless moment again.
That moment is one where time exists as a broken metronome. Tick. And the tock takes hours to show up, despite it only taking a second.
As an observer – a supposedly ‘grown-up’ parent – my kids’ two hours running around barefoot, climbing the apple tree, laughing, bickering, sulking, crying, laughing, takes but seconds. I look down to my computer screen. I look up two seconds later and they have had five lifetimes of adventure (I can see it in their smiles and the grass stains on their knees). Yet I have only half written these first paragraphs.
The universe, apparently, is expanding at an accelerated rate and so to my life is accelerating; time is speeding up, robbing me of my life, stealing my children’s childhood, running me out of time faster than I could ever have imagined back when I was up that backyard tree plucking at the juicy apples of my own ‘when I grow up’ dreams.
Life. Slow. Down. … … … Please.Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
No one told me when to run. I missed the start, absolutely. But when I did start to run, properly run, I tried to (and still try to) do it like I was a child. Like I wasn’t late to the party. Like life had only just begun. Like my kids. But you can’t outrun time. Nevertheless, I try. I run more. And in the moment it works. When I am not running, I am going faster. Everything swirls around me – life, family, work, friends, events, words, jobs, happenings, dishes, renovations, crises, dinner, stop, stop, stop. Give me a moment. And I run. Into the trees. And my watch, thank Christ, doesn’t work. And so I am timeless. I’m running but I am going slower than I have for decades. Maybe I haven’t gone this slow since I was darting around the backyard as a child. And so I run further into the trees, away from time.And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter
Technology, the pace of connected life, the number of emails, the rate of my Facebook updates, the sheer number of things I am now plugged into…everything is being crushed under the weight of having access to the entire world and its vast store of information. I can talk to anyone on the planet, yet I don’t think anyone is listening, really. Everyone, including me, is just talking. Louder, quicker, more. I eye off the trees. They look quiet. There’s no-one there. Not even time Herself.Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I’d something more to say
There remains sixty seconds in a minute and sixty minutes in an hour. But that doesn’t mean time hasn’t sped up. For thousands of years, the Schumann Resonance or pulse of the Earth has been 7.83 cycles per second. Since 1980 this resonance has reportedly risen to over 12 cycles per second. Even if you don’t subscribe to the theory, look at it the perceptive way: what you can fit into 60 minutes (or sixty seconds) today, took much longer yesteryear. Communicate to your friend in England? Three months back then. Today, a millisecond. Travel from Melbourne to Sydney? Months once upon a time. Today, you can get there in a few hours by plane. And what you are expected to achieve in any one time span today is much, much more than ever before. Just ask your boss.
Effectively, time has sped up because we squeeze more action (if not result) into each tick of the clock. More, more, rush, rush, squash it in. It is no wonder our perception is one of accelerated – or looking at it another way, lost – time. And the feeling that we have no time for anything. Especially the important things.
Perhaps, then, it is a good thing, that I am not a runner who tries to go fast. In fact, running for me is all about slowing down.Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells
– Time, Pink Floyd
Your rushed editor, Chris Ord
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