Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Time is a gift we often take for granted...until there is danger of having little or no time left. When this happens, how you spend your time and with whom becomes your most important priority. Time both condenses and expands depending on who you are with and what you are doing. Dividing the time you have is an important decision every minute of every day, yet we often relegate these decisions to others without realizing it.
Our work often dictates time spent away from our loved ones, our spiritual activities and our private, personal pursuits. In Armenian there is a saying I remember, roughly translated as: "Acquaintances can be thieves of your time." We speak about wasting time but we may not be aware of what or who is stealing time.
These days, screens/machines are both wasting and stealing our time routinely. Many of us will deliberately set a timer to ensure we do not go beyond certain time limits on our computer or spy phones. Advertisements and "suggested for you" distractions can lead to unnecessary minutes or hours on screens. Time becomes both compressed and expanded in cyber land. Our attention spans become shorter. Our neurons fire faster due to intentionally programmed dopamine spiking icons, sounds and click bait. Our time is twisted and we re-emerge from sessions in the virtual landscape slightly dazed and confused upon re-entering "real time" and place. We say we are "going offline" as if being "online" is the actual "new normal".
Ironically one of the best visual, documentaries about this contemporary challenge is only...on a screen; however, I do recommend this and it should be "worth your time". The title and link is listed below:
Being offline is the new luxury -A VPRO documentary
We are instructed throughout life to "use our time wisely" yet how much time is actually ours? Depending upon your belief in destiny and/or Divine guidance, no matter how earnestly we pray for "more time" for someone or for ourself, time allotted for each of us...is finite.
Our country/nation may have limited time as well. We learn of "ancient times" and the eras of empires in "times gone past" but think "this time will be different for us!". When did those in the Austro-Hungarian empire know that time was running out and the end of their reign was near, that World War I would decimate their holdings? When did Tibetans realize they were about to be overtaken by the Chinese and their time of safety in high altitude isolation was finished? When did the Jewish and Roma populations in Europe know their very existence was threatened if they did not flee? Timing, keenly sensing when it is time to stay and when to leave, may mean the difference between survival and death.
Well, I won't take too much more of your time tonight. I shall include the lyrics and music of a once great singer/songwriter named Sandy Denny, who I met just one time in the mid 1970s in Washington, D.C.
At the time, my boyfriend and I were working on the stage crew for Fairport Convention. Just before the concert started the band needed an extra cymbal. We had one, so he rushed home to get it and after we finished packing up, some of the band went outside to speak to us. Sandy Denny was there, too. It twas late at night, but she was luminescent as a quiet spark. I still recall. To me, she was stellar. I only met her for a few minutes but the memory persists after decades.
Sometimes we are graced with someone's presence for years, sometimes only for months or days, or minutes. It is the quality of the encounter that stays with us, not just the quantity of time.
In my lifetime, I have been graced with the presence of many remarkable human beings with whom I spent time. For some, I worked and lived with them for their last year, or few years-though at the time we thought we had heaps of time left in our lifetimes. A few times I have treated patients once or twice only to hear they were killed shortly thereafter in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sandy Denny didn't have much time on this earth. Sandy died a few years later in 1978, from a mid-brain hemorrhage after falling down stairs in her parents' Cornish cottage.
One of Sandy Denny's most famous songs is "Who Knows Where the Time Goes". She was only 22 when she wrote and recorded this song. Sadly, she only lived for nine years after. I include a music video of this treasure for you. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oBMDcLf6WA
Here are the lyrics:
Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I shall still be dreaming
I do not count the time, for who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Oh but then, you know, it was time for them to go
But I shall still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I have no thought of time,
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
And I am not alone while my love is near me
And I know it shall be so, until it’s time to go
So come the storms of Winter and then the birds in Spring again
I do not fear the time, for who knows how my love grows,
And who knows where the time goes?
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. "
J. R. R. Tolkien
Closing from Yu'pik country-wishing you time with those you love!