Category Archives: society

A Memory

 

One of the most precious things about human beings, in my opinion, is the ability to recall our past. Those events from a time long gone that may have had a hand in forming our character.

I’m going to recall one such memory but I’m going to have to give you a little context. Please bear with me. The photograph I’m using for this post was taken at the end of an experience that, in theory, was pretty incredible. In practice . . . well, you decide.

It was the late 70s, in the fall. High school years. I was part of a tight group of youths who believed they were immortal. Not really, we just didn’t think that far ahead. As you can tell from the picture, I’m the only girl/woman who participated in this adventure. So typical of me. I didn’t want to miss out on any fun, even if it meant I got dirty. Oh, and we got dirty!

This was the day of one of our big football games. And we had a plan. We were going to raise money for the United Way by climbing Bloor Street. Note to those of you who climb rocks and mountains, I apologize. We did not take your endeavours lightly. In fact, we wanted to emulate them. We were going to climb the sidewalk beside a very busy road as if it was the side of a mountain. We were all roped together and I’m pretty sure there was a pickaxe involved. Our starting point was about a half mile or a mile away from school.  We were so sure of ourselves, cocky even.  Our plan was to climb the street and literally climb into the half-time show at the game. We expected applause and adulation and lots and lots of money raised for United Way. We were so young.

We started out just great. Enthusiasm was high. We got down on our stomachs and hugged the sidewalk as if it was the side of a mountain. We pulled ourselves along using the cracks in the pavement, fire hydrants, telephone poles and bus shelters. We did stand to walk across the street at an intersection. We were not quite that stupid. A news truck followed us and took copious pictures. I doubt many survived.

We did pretty well for the first several blocks and then eventually we realize just how difficult it was. Plan B. We stood and walked but pulled ourselves around fire hydrants, telephone poles et cetera, et cetera. The problem was, we had spent so much time on our stomachs that we missed halftime at the game. But we were determined to finish this. I don’t actually remember if anyone was on the field when we finally got there. But we did raise money for United Way. And that picture of us? We were so damn tired, smiling hurt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the thing . . .

Time.  We never seem to have enough of it. It’s always getting in the way. We have passed it, try to keep it or even wished it away. Some days it seems to control everything we do. Time. We invented it and like Frankenstein’s monster, it is wrecking havoc!

The Egyptians were the first to start dividing the day into segments. They were not the only ones.  The ancient Greeks, the Chinese, Tibet, Japan, England and many others all had a hand in creating the concept we call Time. The first devices to follow it were created as early as 2000 BC. And we still can’t seem to get it right!

We have fine-tuned the concept even more and we now divide the day into ridiculously small components. Milliseconds, seconds, minutes, hours, . . .  and almost everyone seems to be attached to a device that follows those seconds and even vocally informs us of how much we have left. People are obsessed with it. When I went looking into this idea for my post, I found almost 10,000 quotes related to time. Some were funny, some could inspire you, some are even considered wise old saying. The Internet is a wonderful place to fine lists of things . . .

“Time waits for no one.” Folklore

“Lost time is never found again.” Benjamin Franklin

“Time brings all things to pass.” Aeschylus

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”  Bruce Lee

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin

Definitely a popular topic. And so it should be!  86,400 seconds. That’s it. One day. 86,400 seconds. Some of that is spent sleeping, eating, the other thing we do because we eat, that we don’t talk about. But how much of that time do we spent in contemplation? How much of that time do we spend acknowledging the miracle that is life? I know, I know, most people don’t want to think about it. But our time here is finite. Nobody gets out alive. We need to be aware, to notice the beauty, be inspired by that which is all around us. We use Time to control our lives but it also helps us to focus on what that life actually is. Once the time is gone, it is past and cannot be relived. As long as we can remember our past, it will never die and that moment in time can be preserved. But perhaps we should notice first and preserve second. Time can be your friend but never forget it’s only a label.