Thursday, 18 August 2011


"Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowly either, but with ropes of steam and spark -spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror. It's passing, yet I'm the one who's doing all the moving." - Martin Amis.

Martin, I know exactly how you feel.

A friend very dear to my heart just informed me that his grandmother had passed on, and just as he told me my own grandmother walked through my bedroom door. I felt my heart stop in my chest and my breath catch in my throat. She wandered on into my room, looked at the bare section of my lavender-coloured wall and said, "You need a mirror over there, like a big mirror." I laughed, and said, "Yes Noni. But I have a huge mirror on that wall there." And so ensued a conversation that was quite trivial in many ways, but somehow seemed more significant in that moment.

Every so often I take stock of how quickly time moves. It has this way of generating momentum as you get older - where days used to feel like a never-ending hot summer night, they now feel like that cold breath of air on a winters morning - refreshing, sometimes bothersome, but always fleeting.

When I do think of time, I am scared. I am scared I have't done enough, been enough, seen enough. I am scared that I haven't spent enough time with the ones I love, or spoken with those I used to know very well. I am scared that, should my life be cut short, I will know that time has been wasted and I did nothing to rectify that.

But all the same, I don't think it would be right of me to live in fear. Especially when I think of death - where time stands still, where it occurs to you that (depending on whether you believe in time after death), suddenly time has shifted. Moments that were so precious, have suddenly become unforgettable and priceless. And it makes you wonder - is time after death the same? Are moments precious - far and few between - there? Or is it beyond comprehension - and time there stops, becomes one never-ending thread that weaves into the tapestry of forever? A picture of time, a memory in itself?

It is week 4 already, past the halfway point of August, almost Christmas time. I have looked up and all has changed in a matter of moments. I have grown, those around me have aged, and I cannot believe how different it is now.

2012 looms on the horizon, a prediction of death by date alone. But I will not view it that way; I refuse to. If we see the future, see time as only the ticking hands of a clock, waiting to view our own end, then we will not live. We will imagine that living has no point, trying has no value, and find ourselves hiding in the past - re-living memories as though they alone hold the answer to how fast time moves.

Martin Amis sees time as terror. I don't want his terror as my time. I want my time to be love, laughter, generosity, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, redemption. I want it to be more than what I see it as - fear for the future, fear for its momentum, fear for chances and opportunities lost. I want it to allow me to soar - to run if I want to, to weep, to clasp a hand or shoulder, to hug more, to dance to my own music, to see the silliness in life.

I believe if I continue to want time in this way, then it will be this way. And then - what have I to fear? No, not death. Certainly not. Because as I die, I know I will have lived.

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