Time Perceived

TThe other night, as we sat discussing writing projects and their duration, the subject of time came up. There were three of us, representing roughly three generations. The more we talked about time and how each of us currently sees it in terms of the future, the more I realized how differently each one of us viewed it. Time does not change. We do, and thus our view of time changes with age.

Time2I claim to be a right here, right now kinda guy. I live in the present moment. As I contemplate writing a memoir, this seems to cause me an ‘angst’ problem in that I wanna, and I don’t wanna. (I also struggle with writing about myself, but that’s not the issue.) I like History. It could’ve been considered my second minor at A&M. My manuscript is historical-fiction with too much history and not enough fiction. This morning I was asked if I would write a time-travel book (I’m noticing that Vickie has a knack for asking me thought-provoking questions). I didn’t have a ready answer, but after a lot of discussion and thought, my answer is ‘nope.’

Time1After doing a bit of reading, I’m no longer positive that I know what ‘this moment’ in time is, or if it exists. My metaphysical (woo-woo) friends get excited about this fascinating subject. When they do, I look at my watch and note, “It is one-forty, PM.” But they’re right. It’s really an interesting topic. Physicists and philosophers are all over it. Check out all the wiki and academic research (here and here), it goes on-and-on. But, I want to address time in terms of normal people; ya-know, like a truck-driver, retired cop, and Sociology grad-student walked into a bar to discuss it.

The grad student is a young female (they live longer) and has tons of time and a bright future. She is planning her entire future. The truck driver is a middle-age, overweight, heavy smoker and drinker. He doesn’t think about it much, but needs to change his life style in order to have more time. The retired cop has been there and done that. He feels like he’s been lucky and may be on “borrowed time.” Each can see past and future time differently, but they are now in the same place doing the same thing. The biggest difference is age.

It’s not so much that all of us can’t plan to write our novel with five sequels. It’s how we see the time that it will take to do that, not to mention the patience and persistence that will be required.

Two of my favorite songs about time are below. The first is Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle. The video is with his wife, Ingrid, and their son, A.J. This song was recorded just before Jim’s untimely death and later released posthumously.

The second is a rendition of the Byrds’ Turn, Turn, Turn, which has a biblical, Ecclesiastes basis.

Finally, the last video is a George Carlin skit on time. It is about 11 minutes long, so if you’re not a Carlin fan, skip it. If you are, enjoy.

Oh my! Look at the time.