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T is for Time

April 25, 2015

I’m late posting for the last two dates (and letters of the alphabet) because of…well…time constraints.  For three or four days this week, I am volunteering at Merlefest, recognized as one of the top five bluegrass festivals in the country. I usually attend as a regular music fan, and I find it quite a challenge to decide where to go when.  With about twelve stages, the acts sometimes overlap so that I want to be two places at once, which is still impossible, even with modern technology.  This year, for at least four hours of my day, my schedule is determined by my assignment. Fortunately, I am working the photo platform at the MainStage, so I’ve had an up close and personal view of the major acts–Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Scythian, Sam Bush Band, Jim Lauderdale and the Mississippi All-Stars, and Marshall Tucker Band.

This last act prompted me to think about time.  Nothing can plunge me more deeply into the past than music.  Just a few measures of the opening flute, and I was back in college. No time machine could work more effectively.

Now, I wouldn’t truly want to return to the past, at least not to stay, but visit might be nice.  Even now, I have a hard time believing I’m my calendar age. Looking back, though makes me think Andrew Marvell might have been onto something when he described “time’s winged chariot” I sometimes hear just over my shoulder.

Time does seem to go faster, the older I get.  I can still remember being about third grade and realizing how much longer Christmas break and summer vacation–even recess–seemed when I was in first grade.  Time moves now like a cassette tape (or a roll of toilet tissue): it seems to go faster the closer you get to the end.

When I read Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows, I recall that he mentioned a couple of inventions that had changed life.  I forget the second, but the first was the clock.  I sometimes consider how life might have been different in the past if we’d had cell phones.  I can’t imagine how people lived their lives when they marked time by sun and shadows without breaking them into perfectly calibrated seconds, minutes, hours, and days.  Maybe it would have been liberating–and you don’t miss what you’ve never had.

For now, I’ll try to content myself with using well the time that remains, making sure that a healthy portion is spent on those things that enrich my life most–family, friends, music and books.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 27, 2015 2:05 am

    The time issue is a real problem. Hope you catch up and stick with the challenge. Only a few days left. You can do it.

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