13. Time

What will I regret at my last hour? If nothing else, perhaps not having lived more slowly. Life feels like an unwanted fall, hastened by the passing of each day, like 9.8m/s². Moments do not last long enough for me to savor them, and remembering them once they’re gone doesn’t bring half the pleasure.

Music helps. The reverb of a single key, solitary and subduing; the sound of strings like voices arising and descending. Sounds can turn ordinary moments into milestones for me; they calm my hurried life to its proper pace. The pace at which infants and babes which breathing the first rays of light seem to live.

But music doesn’t last. Too much of it dulls my senses, and I long for silence. Reading during the silence also slows my restless mind. The pleasure of a sentence well written; a word which captures a thought and holds it for a moment. Those are the pauses that I long for. But I find reading to be tiresome. I cannot get lost in it as some people can. The excitement with which I first open a book, is not the same with which I put it down.

Then there is traveling. Which doesn’t seem to slow down time for me, but it does allow an escape from it. Standing before monuments which once seemed impossible for me to see with my own eyes, makes me forget that my clock is still ticking. Gazing at that mountain range in the distance, or that river running without care; seeing snow fall slowly for the first time, makes seconds fall at a similar pace. But traveling too quickly comes to an end; and life speeds up again.

And I’m left with the same question. How does one slow life down, Redeeming the Time? (Ephesians 5:16.)

~John Bryan

♦ 9.8m/s² refers to the accelerations of gravity, doubling in speed at the passing of each second.
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