Luminous Transition

The early hours, before light begins seeping into the sky, seem shorter and faster-moving than those later in the morning. Beginning around 4 a.m., time feels like it accelerates for a few hours—until at least 8 a.m. The more energy I employ in my efforts to increase my accomplishments during that timeframe, the faster the minutes and hours speed by. But deliberately slowing my pace does not reverse that acceleration; time slips through my fingers and my mind just as quickly, no matter what I do. At some point, as I was contemplating my apparent runaway internal clock, I realized I have no control over either time or the way I experience it. I simply am carried along by time, at a pace over which I have no dominion. Of course, I am not alone in this; we’re all swept through the rapids of time.


Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.

~ Delmore Schwartz ~


This morning’s light-speed transition from darkness to light, just a short while from now, will shrink before too much longer; time will move at the speed of cold molasses, thanks to tomorrow’s schedule. And tomorrow will move just as slowly. Once the PET-scan is complete, though, I imagine the molasses will warm quickly and completely, allowing the passage of time to speed by in a blur.


It occurs to me this morning that, no matter how capable and competent I may be and feel, I would have a very hard time finding a job that would satisfy my interests or that I would otherwise find fulfilling. Seventy is much like sixty, except that seventy is more fragile and less integrated into the modern world. Younger people tend to judge seventy-year-olds; exhausted shells who once were normal people but whose energy and intellects have slipped beneath a baseline at which value can be measured. I do not necessarily want a job, but I like the idea of being productive in some way. I think the creativity of my daydreams is evidence enough of my productivity. But you cannot build anything from evidence of productivity.


I could go back to sleep now. Perhaps I will.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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