Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Time is a funny thing.  Well, time is a mutable thing, which can be funny, depending what side of the railway tunnel you're on.

I remember the summer after I met James, when he and I would talk on the phone every night for hours and hours, when I couldn't wait to see him again in the fall; I remember thinking a lot about time.  I was working as a lifeguard, and I would get up to fill my water bottle, and I would think about the moments it took me to walk to the drinking fountain, about how those were a few moments gained, closer to being able to see him.  I would wonder about how many more time I would fill up my water bottle before we each took the long drive back to Rexburg.

I was in love with James at that point, that much seems obvious, but I was also interested in this new way of perceiving time.  As a kid you're always counting down to something, but, as a (semi) adult at the time, there are fewer things that you are that excited about, and, as I waited to see James, I watched the minutes pass and also watched myself watch the minutes pass.

I suppose there is such a thing as too much self-awareness.

I think of this now because I don't like to count down minutes.  When I find myself doing it I try to stop and remember that someday--whatever I'm doing--I might miss those minutes.  So I don't try to hurry things forward, but really make an effort to live right in the pocket of the moment.

Except.  For these days.  I don't want to give the wrong impression, I'm not despairing all the time. I'm fine.  It's tough, but I get through my days pretty well.  But I count down the minutes.  I was waiting for a friend to bring her car around to pick me up and I thought, that's five minutes down.  When Edie sleeps past 4 I think, that's 15 minutes down.  When I pray, I pray to heal well and I pray that I will feel the time pass swiftly.  Because that's what I want most of all.

There are two moments in my day that I don't try to hurry through.  After Edie goes to bed, I get to take my fancy boot off and ice my ankle, which is just my favorite part of the day.  I watch Fraiser and sit with frozen peas on my foot and I look forward to it all day.

The other moment is just before Edie goes to sleep.  I usually put Edie to bed, but, because I can't stand with her, now I sit and James hands her to me.  We sit in the dark and I sing until the percocet allows me to nod off and then we both sit very quietly until James comes in to put Edie in the crib.  She'll kind of wake up and throw her little arms around my neck, holding on tight.  Even though moment #1 is waiting for me, I usually tell James five more minutes and we sit a little longer.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help but wish the time passes for you quickly as well, until I get to the last line of this amazing post/essay. And then, because I know what it's like looking back on these moments in retrospect and wishing they had lasted longer as, say, a child begins the year prior to high school graduation and time has gone far, far too quickly; then I wish that somehow these five minutes will stretch on for you for the next sixteen years.

    This is one of my favorite pieces you've written. It is frighteningly good on two counts. Like when I think, I KNOW this person, AND her work is frighteningly good.