On the Loss of Time


(LOST Time) It should have a graveyard, somewhere. (Image sourced from www.flickr.com.)

(LOST Time) It should have a graveyard, somewhere. (Image sourced from http://www.flickr.com.)

Someday, I’d like to live without a watch or a clock.

(This is me indulging in wishful thinking—but without the resistance or self-flagellation that normally accompanies an indulgence caught red-handed. In terms of Buddhist practice, it’s like smoking, but with a Vape.)

Of course, living without a watch or a clock will mean moving to somewhere Different because our sense of time is governed by our sense of place. (Times are literally zones—and I don’t mean the ones demarcated by lines of longitude because those regions are governed by the same kind of homogenous time. I mean the zones defined by tribe and by culture—the sense of time implicit when we speak of German time or Filipino time—zones embedded in space yet amorphous and permeable because tribes and cultures move all the time, and even the crust of the earth shifts and nowhere stays in exactly the same place.)

The point is: people believe that time flows universally, but it really doesn’t. In some places, time congeals: its passage gummy and viscous (“Why, it’s as if time stood still!”). In some places, time liquefies: its stream draining and dribbling into enigmatic cracks (“Where did the time go???”). I live in a city—scratch that, I live in a megalopolis—and time doesn’t just melt: it virtually sublimates.

Which is why in spite of all the timekeeping, no time is actually kept.

So someday, I’m going to go somewhere Different. I’m going to a Place where all the Time goes—and so there’s no need to save time, hoard time, track time or keep time.

Someday.

When the time comes.

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