My head is dizzy with memories of times that don’t exist anymore. Times and places and people. Some of my friends say I spend too much time looking back into the past. It wasn’t always that way. I can remember wishing time away, willing it to fast-forward into the future. That was long ago. These days, it feels like every year that passes carries me ever farther from the times spent with my daughter who died. Far from the days I was happy, and strong, and oblivious to what time could bring.
The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali’s famous surrealistic painting of melting clocks, is said to depict the erratic passage of time. Persistence? Not MY memory. Memories fade, they change. Nothing lasts. But maybe time does. Erratically.
This thing called time is a sneaky thing. It drags on and on sometimes, or flies by in a blink. It silently accumulates until one day you are dumbstruck wondering where it went, and how you got to be so old and worn out. Without even knowing, you can run out of time. A valuable, irreplaceable commodity, time is a most precious gift. If someone simply shows up and devotes an hour or so of their time to you, how can you not love them?
Despite what some folks say, I’ve learned time does not heal ALL wounds. And there’s no making up for lost time. You can’t kill time, or stop it or buy it, really.
Time, when you’re healing, is life. How we spend our time is how we spend our lives. And whether or not I am here on this earth, whether or not you are here, time continues to move ever forward. Without us. That’s the scariest part.
All this flooded my mind last week when, on a field trip to an abandoned industrial complex with my photography class, I came upon a clock hanging almost upside-down, suspended at 8:04 on some unknown day when its time ran out.
Is time timeless? What lasts forever?