The Equation of Time


Last week I learned about sundials,
about the curve of the earth and the limits
of my mind to comprehend the invisible.
I am in a season of reconsidering
what is worth considering worthwhile:
what is simply urgent rather than essential.

I spent half a day mesmerized by how
time passes so slowly and then suddenly,
how I am a little girl with a middle-aged grandpa
and at once a woman watching an old man die.
I find myself still reluctantly adjusting
to the constraints of my humanity.

We use the years like building blocks
plastic formed Legos with which
we shape the landscape of something we hope is meaningful.
And we are surprised when fixed timelines turn out to be pliable:
three years becomes six-months become days becomes

As if we weren’t already living minutes at a time.
We live our lives chafing against the confines of the material.
We die slowly and suddenly;
we live slowly and
somehow suddenly.
I ache because it seems to take so long to learn these lessons.

Greater intellects than mine have wrestled to reconcile
the varied threads that compose the substance
of all the questions without answers.
But I don’t find the need to make sense of things
as much as I seek to find light where
everything is tinged with darkness.

The force of life and death -the magnitude of the in between-
strips logic from level-heads, caution from the careful,
steals whatever ability we wanted to have to steel ourselves.
We learn instead to ride the waves of time
like inexpert sailors, feeling the rise and fall of tragedy and happiness,
sick with the salt and sand and motion of it.
Alive with it every second,
even as we are dying.




*Photo by Archeo


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