Tuesday, May 31, 2005

not yet

Ever wonder why God gave us time? I've been thinking about that lately. I know that we are made in the image of God, but He is without time, eternal, uncaused. I know that we are not exactly like God (I am not God, and for the record I'm pretty sure you're God either) and yet one of the things He chose to include in our experience is time. You could argue, quite well I think, that without time as both a concept and a marker the human mind would go crazy. And maybe it's a simple question of God giving us time because our biology requires it. But it didn't have to be that way. He could have create none-time-dependent minds, more like His own I guess.

One of the things that got me thinking about this is that there are a lot of people in my life facing transitions right now. A friend of mine is moving unexpectedly. Another got engaged last week and has set a wedding date for three weeks from now. Yet another is facing a divorce. All these big changes happening. When Stefanie wrote about her upcoming move I wrote in the comments that "I think that you could sum up so much of the human condition in that little phrase "not yet". And the more I think about it the more there is to say about it.

It's so odd really. How often do we rail against time when we know, perhaps with more certainty than we know anything else, that time will keep moving. This too shall pass. A warning and a promise in four little words. I remember coming out to BC to go to Trinity. I had never been to BC before. I had never seen the campus I was heading for. All I knew was the world as I knew it was about to change and whatever happened from here on in, it was never going to be the same.

I remember sitting in the dark in my room, which was already starting to look less like my room and listening to just about the worst song I could have listened to that night. It was a Moxy Fruvous song called "Fly". It's all about riding a rollercoaster after hours and the chorus says "untied the rope so they could fly, let's take a last ride, you and I". Brutal. I put the song on repeat for about an hour and just sat up against the door and silently sobbed. Years later I told my Mom about it and her great wisdom which I can only hope to learn someday she said "My darling girl, why didn't you turn it off and just come get a hug." Wise words. I try to remember to take that advice now.

What it is about us that makes us cling so tightly to what we know? So often the reality waiting for us is nothing to be afraid of, it's just different. Sometimes it is wonderful, more than we ever could have imagined. I remember how badly I wanted to rip up my plane ticket at Pearson that day, and now, standing here, I would not trade those years for anything. Truth be told about an hour after the flight took off I wouldn't have traded. Once you've said your goodbyes the rest is just travelling.

Dylan Thomas, in perhaps his most famous poem encouraged us not to go gently, to "burn and rage at close of day" but I like what he said in another slightly less well known poem. At the very end of "Fern Hill" he writes "Time held me green and dying/ Though I sang in my chains like the sea." Time will keep moving, with or without us, but here's to singing. Maybe that's why we need time in the first place, as the rythmn to our songs. Perhaps it is the cliff that tempts us to take a leap. Maybe it's there to remind us that we're only passing through.

1 comment:

andie said...

love the line, 'once you've said your goodbyes, the rest is just travelling.' you've left us with lots to think about. I like that about your blog.