I desire for my relationship to time to shift. I am noticing that my mind takes the concept of time and uses it against me. I am beginning to see that when time is viewed as a commodity, it is continually being judged. I frequently think of time as being well spent or wasted. I feel that there is never enough time, that my time is limited on this earth, that time is running out. I look at the clock and watch the markings of time and all that it does is cause me to hurry.
Time is now viewed as a limited resource. How does this view of time shape my relationship to it? What happened to the so-called expansiveness of time? I have read books on how our relationship to time is shifting with the advancement of technology and our ability to measure more and more minisual moments of time. Time used to be measured by the sun and by counting the number of moons that passed. I would love to inquire with our ancestors about their relationship to time. Nowadays, we all know here what a minute feels like . . . a half hour, an hour . . . these are definitions we use to mark our days, our tasks, and our purpose. How would life be measured if there was no awareness of a minute or an hour? How would time feel different then? I am curious . . .
We are studying the Spanish language. We are humbled. As I have never studied a language before I have never had the joy of discovering a culture through how the language is organized. I was struck as we were learning estar/ser verbs that meaning is “to be.” In the Spanish language “to be” is separated out into qualities of being: permanency or fluidity. Sleep is fluid, whereas hard is permanent. To my amazement, death is thought of as fluid and not a permanent condition. This tells me so much about the culture I am living in and also their view of time. There is not an end of life according to this view; it just shifts into another realm. The language also intrigues me when in reference to age. In English, I say, “I am forty-six years old.” In Spanish, I would say I have forty-six years. Again a different way to measuring time.
How can I step into a different sense of time. . . a sense of timelessness? I know when I am in ceremony, I taste this; so I know it to be true. I always forget this though, and this always leads me back to the forgetting and the need to re-remember.
When I was young maybe, 10 or 11 years old, I remember taking all the clocks out of my room, blocking my windows with paper and begging my mom not to tell me what time it was. I wanted to discover for myself: when I would be hungry, when I would go to sleep, how long would I do anything without measuring the worthiness of the task by the clock. I have done this a couple of times when I have been on retreat and it helps me shift to another dimension of being. Something more internal, deeper and primal. I am not sure how, with kids and clients and outside life that lives according to a schedule, I can really cultivate this sense of timelessness; but I would like to see something shift. I think most of time I am just wanting to step into a place of timelessness where the task I am doing is all consuming, that I forget time exists, where I forget what I have to do later in the day, the next day or the next week. I want to forget that there is any other time than the one I am in. I am think this is what I am always searching for . . . this state of flow. How do I reach it? I reach it by writing this, by having a meaningful conversation with someone, by staring at the ocean, by feeling the wind on my skin. Maybe it is not my relationship to time that is problematic; maybe it is the quality of my attention and the choices I still stubbornly make that bring me into the deadly dance with time. I think I am called now to move my attention to something deeper and to remember: the clock was man made and really does not belong on this earth.