Alexander Averin

Monday, 10 August 2009

Musings on Time

Dear Diary,

“The real dividing line between things we call work and the things we call leisure is that in leisure, however active we may be, we make our own choices and our own decisions. We feel for the time being that our life is our own.”


I woke up naturally again today, no alarm, no Radio 4, no Today programme which, much as I love it, does raise my blood pressure. Today is the last day of a couple of weeks’ annual leave/change of routine. Because I work part-time my holiday ‘extends’ even if I only take a few days off, one of the advantages I guess. Tomorrow I will be back in the library, I really love my job so no hardship there but I do love the freedom that no-work gives me. A taste of what future retirement will be like perhaps?

M and I  often try and guess the time when we don’t know it and I am usually spot-on or only a few minutes out in my estimation and this morning, just after eight o’clock was no exception. I must keep a kind of unconscious vigil on time in my brain which is rather worrying. I got to musing about the whole subject of time this morning so from now on this post is just a few random ramblings on the subject before I rise and ‘seize the day’ (or the moment).

There are gentle rains falling and I have much work still to do in the jungle - sorry garden - as most of my time off it has been raining. We could almost make hay with the garden cuttings alone. Talking of which we’ve just had a small spell of hot dry weather though and thank God, the local farmers have at last been able to finish making silage or hay and they have been working flat out. Our field has been done - my favourite time - all pollen banished now - and the dogs and I enjoyed an evening walk yesterday on the virginal grass stubbles, weaving our way through the shiny black wrapped bales of silage.

And these last few days I have found my garden again, albeit overgrown and buried amongst weeds and M has strimmed all the grass which had grown too high to mow. All my plans of clearing and creating ‘new’ flowerbeds have not come to fruition. Never mind, there is always another time, God willing.

How did I cope with time when I had ‘time off‘?

I chased time but it was always out of reach and was never letting me catch it. It has never hung on me, never been an empty vessel with me wondering how I could fill it - I have never been bored in my life - (there are always books aren’t there?). At break of day I would ask it to stretch for me so I could fill it only with pleasure, small tasks of joy rather than necessity perhaps, not chores of pain or work. I could have a spell of this, a stint of something else. I could be quiet and live only in the lull or go with the proverbial flow of soft time - have you tried this? It is truly energising. Usually chores jostled for my attention and worst of all there were those dreaded lists of ‘things to do today’ with each item fighting for dominance. Why do unpleasant tasks always weigh so heavily on our minds? - I have found it is sometimes easier to tackle them and get them out of the way first, doing them can be easier than not doing them.

Is there an angel of Time? I doubt it for Time is man-made like armies are and it marches onwards, it advances quick-time left to right and I feel and dread its linear regimentation, I crave the gentler pace. At certain times; the cooling of the day or at sunset or when I gardened or did my yoga then time became my best friend, at last she acquiesced and lay down around me, expanding in all directions, becoming at last circular which was always my Celtic soul’s unconscious intention.

How does time elapse and pass? People say ’Where does the time go?’ I would like to face them to the wall along with the clocks and live only by my own desires or be almost like the cradled infant just listening to my own body’s needs and rhythms. There are only moons and tides, the Sun and the planets, seasons and lifetimes, the future never will come but every moment is an ever-present gift to us.

I would love to rise with the dawning of the light and sleep with its fall. I would like to dream with the seasons and celebrate each of their own unique gifts. Time is just our present, it is but a moment of stillness and ‘stiller’ too if it is silent and is met with solitude.

I will sign off now; I feel that the time is right. I will try and remember each moment that life is but a dream and that we are all dreaming and creating our own lives with the energies of our thoughts. Perhaps we should dream away and not waste away each day of our all too short lives on planet Earth.

I must owe you a poem.

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
Theodore Roethke

May all your time be soft,

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Frances said...

Cait, you are very kind to share your musings with us. Much of what you have written matches my own recent thoughts.

I returned to work yesterday, after a week's break. Having that week's time to myself was sublime.

I now am yearning for another helping of that freedom! Best wishes to you on your return to the library. xo


A lovely time piece, Cait. I particularly moved by "we are all dreaming and creating our own lives with the energies of our thoughts" It is so true, and I am a great believer in "Change the thought, change the feeling"

pinkfairygran said...

I don't make lists of 'things to do today' any more. I know what needs to be done, and if I feel like doing it, I will do it. If not... it can wait. The world won't stop revolving, life won't come to a standstill if I leave the laundry until tomorrow, when we are promised sunshine and fresh air to dry it, rather than drizzle like we have today. I go with the mood, I do what I feel like doing. Often, for health reasons, I am too exhausted or sickly feeling to do much, and that is why I no longer worry about things that may need doing but won't come to any harm if I let them wait. It's letting go... it's being less controlling... it is a privilege of getting older, and having no responsibilities.

Pondside said...

Cait, I love the wish with which you ended your post 'may all your time be soft'. Thank you!
I'm about to head into four days of very intense work with some very troubled/difficult people, so I'll hold that thought when I'm between clients, or on the road.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely thoughts here as usual. I often wonder how time goes by so quickly now in comparison to when I was little. Summers stretched out forever; now they fly.

Your post reminds me of the James Taylor song, "Walking Man". Do you know it?

ds said...

Beautiful, Cait. I love the smell of fresh-cut hay also. Soft, slow, circular time, wouldn't that be wonderful. Thanks also for the Roethke poem, it is a favorite.

Mark said...

Sorry,I've only got a moment to comment ....

I liked the thoughts. There is a nice book called Ten Thoughts About Time by Dodil Jonsson that you might like.

elizabethm said...

Love this and so identify with your musings on time. Since I left my job I have had much more soft time and it is a wonderful thing - too easy to plan so hard you lose it so this blog is a great, gentle reminder.

CAMILLA said...

Loved your piece on time Cait, I can identify with what you say, I believe in Dreams, they too can come true, I shall hold onto this.

Beautiful Poem Cait.

Just love the pale honey colour to your posting which looks wonderful with one of my favourite paintings by Sargent.


gaelikaa said...

I only know that time passes quickly when you're happy and slowly when you're sad - thank God I'm happy most of the time. Lovely post, Cait a chara!

Exmoorjane said...

Ah Cait, so much resonance for me here....I have been dwelling on time a lot this year and feeling quite melancholic about the way it speeds by, leaving me quite bereft. My garden too is a jungle, if that is any comfort....
I rather wish I had a 'proper' job so I could also have 'free' time...working from home and being freelance so muddies the water.

seashell cosmos said...

I always come away thinking on things a bit different after reading/visiting here, though I cannot put my finger on what exactly it is. Always lovely poetry for sure and perhaps it is when I reach this point and read the other comments too. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you and I enjoy visiting here. :)

laurie said...

what could be nicer than gentle rains in the garden?