Where are you going?

Published November 6th, 2015

Time. A concept that comes into my awareness a lot. And I mean, a lot. In fact, so much, I wrote a book entitled Time is Cows.

This week, time warped on me, wrapped me up, badgered me, even accosted me, until I finally said, "enough man! relax. I'll ask your assistance when I need you. Time is cows."

See, November 2nd is the day my father passed on from life on this earth, 18 years ago. I'll never forget the days that led up to his leaving us, and how his mind-body-spirit created his own time. The doctors predicted he would pass a few days before, given that he was off the machines keeping him alive, but my father stayed around, until those of us close to him, keen to make peace and say goodbye, had a chance to do so. Then, he moved on, defying scientific-medical time, in favour of heart-time.

Ever since that day, something inside me sped up. I'm not sure I would say it is 'time' that sped up, rather, that I became clearly aware that my days on earth myself are numbered, and that I do not want to waste time doing things that were not nourishing and beneficial to myself, to my loved ones and to those I serve. It isn't so much that time sped up, it is that my choices are clearer.

From what others tell me, this is a common result from a death of a close loved one. And, it feels to be a positive phenomenon, a silver lining so to speak, that helps knock us back on a track of meaning and purpose in this life.

As I walked through Vine Pergola today, I recognized that a problem I'm facing is that much of society -- especially when I am living in high-tech, mind-centered ones -- is driven by instant gratification, powered by the prize of a cheap deal, even a freebie. This is what I mean about feeling accosted...you may have just the faintest idea of a need or a want, and before you get a chance to reflect even for a nano-second, boom! you are bombarded by deals, last chance items, two-for-the-price-of-one specials, and so on, and so on.

This seems to be happening in the world of airline tickets purchased on-line (spend 2 minutes checking out times and layovers on other flights and the original ticket has doubled in price); many on-line consumer goods (only 1 left in stock and available on-line only so you can't even go to a store to see how it, compared to others, looks and feels, otherwise you risk spending more money than the special deal, making you feel like you didn't win); and even, my girlfriends tell me, in the on-line dating world (you have limited time to make choices, craft flirtatious texts that replace 'old-fashioned' courtship behaviours, and, once hooked-up, both parties often judge each other on how quickly they deliver on the promises made in those texts). And, of course, we do it with our political leaders. "You better change this whole country in 2 months, or 2 years (if a big problem), or else we want someone else to try."

Do you get what I am trying to say here? Something about the direction dominant time is going in feels unhealthy to me. Unreasonable. Even dangerous.

Instead of hiding "with my head in the sand", I have decided to make this dance with time a practice. Listening to what I really want during my meditation practice, then going about creating the time I need to bring that into my life. Even messing around with on-line/virtual time (e.g. logging in to another device as another person to make a purchase so the machine 'thinks' I am a new person, after having a moment to consider what I really want. Ha! take that you robot!)

I passed a sweet tiny turtle today as I walked out of Vine Pergola. Moving so slowly, and naturally, on its own time, protected by a shell to the outside world. I felt drawn to it, and watched it for a while. I then picked it up gently and moved it to the grass, off of the main sidewalk, so nobody walking fast staring at his or her phone would step on it.

Time is cows my friends. Time is precious. Life is precious. Take time to listen to what you really want, need, and feel; then, craft the time you have to meet your needs. Of course we must operate within the 24-hr clock on our phones and watches (I think these are generally the same now), but we can use that time with intent, purpose and meaning.

Enjoy the weekend, and, have the time of your life!

Ashe

Rays of sunshine illuminate entrance to Vine Pergola at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

Pink trees

Rampant vines tangling up around the strong pillar of Pergola

Tiny turtle walking slowly by my iPhone