on time, & intentions
A Brief Offering About the Nature of Time
Time. Time is not linear. Not on a subatomic level. Not on the energetic planes which define our interactions in existence. Not in the way we blink. Or in the way we feel that familiar tightness in our chest. Or in the way we hold onto the core of ourselves in the long dark night and feel time, time, pacing its way back-and-forth, back-and-forth, beating familiar paths in our skulls and through our hearts. No. Time is not linear. It sloshes around in the soup bowl of humanity. It bounces off itself, separates, a distinct fractal, and splashes down into its container once more. Time takes two steps forward, one step behind, a great leap ahead, a short trot back. Time is the drunk that forgets time itself and wakes up, disorientated in this unfamiliar space, and must navigate by touch to the bathroom, where it stands over the toilet and shakes as it pisses all over the porcelain rim.
Time is not linear. And yet we pour out time in exact drops. We give time substance by thickening it with our own expectations. Time is important because we as humans are marked beasts – our time is running out. One second at a time, whatever a second is. We are dying.
And in our dying we try and control our lives by controlling time. Our days weighted. Measured. There are sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, twenty-four hours in a day, three hundred sixty five days in a year, and then the cycle repeats itself. Another year passes. At some point there’s a leap year. Then we reset the system. Time has slipped away.
Take a moment to reflect on this past year. Think about when time flew by. I’m talking boof, there goes a day. A week. A month. Like when I write. Time accelerates. It falls faster. Pours out quicker. And while I am writing you might be outside with your daughter. The quality of our time is different. I experience time at a different rate than you, yet the same number of seconds pass. What about when you are depressed? It squeaks by, doesn’t it? Oozes out. Coagulates and rots in front of you.
Time is not linear. Time is an expression of our experience.
Maybe it’s a good thing that we have expectations with our time. We wake up at a certain time. We go to sleep. We can set routine, and through routine comes security. And out of security rises comfort. And out of comfort comes the relaxation of the hardwired synaptic programming which screams for “Constant Vigilance!” Even when the days feel long and the weeks feel short and the months drag on and the days creep ahead towards the anniversary of an acute and specific painful memory we can find solace in that, after three hundred sixty five days of twenty four hours of 3,600 seconds, it’s a new year. And in a new year perhaps you might find a fresh expression of yourself.
“I resolve to write every day.”
“I resolve to walk Max two miles each morning.”
“I resolve to eat less and exercise more.”
“I resolve to read twenty books this year.”
“I resolve to be more social.”
“I resolve to meditate ten minutes every day.”
Whatever your resolution, you’re looking for change. Even if your resolution looks something like this:
“I resolve to continue my daily practice of prayer.”
“I resolve to continue learning Spanish.”
Because in this case you’re trying to deepen an experience, to ingrain a pattern, to change in a more subtle way than a fresh diet or a regular meditation practice.
We want change because change feels good. Change is inspiring. Change is healthy. It keeps us young, slows the rate of our descent into the arms of death. It’s easier to stay balanced when you’re constantly shifting weight, when your muscles are trained to hold your life in new and exciting positions. Become a trapeziest and suspend yourself above the circus as the ringmaster corrals the lions below. We are all capable of bending in new ways. And you are stronger than what you’ve been told.
So with that in the forefront of my mind I’d like to pay homage to the new year. To the ‘new’ me. To the expectations I’m setting for myself, and thank time for its ability to mirror the texture of my experiences.
I’d also like to acknowledge time for reminding me that I too am dying, one second at a time. So best stay focused in my work.
My New Years Resolutions, or, A Year of Intentions
New year, new me. No way. I love myself. And nobody is going to take that away.
I write until there are familiar indentations in my grandmother’s chair. Until the chafe on the undersides of my wrists calluses, and this plywood desk no longer cuts me as I beat out my heart on these keys.
I taste desert grit. I explore the long arcs of cracked skin on my hands and feet. I plunge into wilderness territory with soul and robust expressions of joy.
I lay the foundation to actualize a dream that reaches beyond myself.
I explore the deep darkness of myself with no light other than compassion and self-love. I commit to this year for me. To touch my essence. I explore the internal divine. I feel fear, and still face it. I experience pain, and embrace it. I sit with myself, for myself. I grow into new spaces. I grow out of old spaces.
I commit to love in all its mystic expression.
I don’t waste time, because time is precious and nonlinear. I focus on intentional experiences, intentional relationships, where I’m inspired to be my best self. I cut out all unhealthy relationship before the cancer consumes its host.
I cry in public. I pray with my eyes closed. I kiss with my eyes open.
I engage in healthy conflict. I breathe through the anxiety which will rise up. I practice coping skills. I practice radical vulnerability.
I treat my body with respect and love. I feed it well, exercise it well, and get enough sleep to fuel this kinetic life.
I accept divinity and how I experience spirit.
I make time for my family. I make space for hugs which open from the heart.
I meet my purpose. I focus through meditation. I breathe through yoga. I unlock the chains holding creativity to the wall. I fight the Resistance.
I see behind the façade. I break the matrix. I witness life with color.
I keep moving forward. I keep moving forward. I let the past inform my present. I set no expectations for the future. I live here. Wherever that may be.