Monday, August 3, 2009

Time, Not Place

If you would, accept a little cliche and imagine your lifetime as a single day. Naturally, dawn would signify the beginning of it all, the confused wonder of seeing and doing things for the first time. First steps, first kisses, first mud pies. It is the morning that teaches you fear and pain, not the evening. Dogs have sharp teeth, the stove will burn you, falling leads to bruises and broken bones. If you haven't learned those lessons before the sun starts baking you from overhead, you're in for a world of hurt.

For most, these early morning hours signify home. Perhaps not a home to be loved, but a home nonetheless. Significant moments creating significant memories, to be forgotten, of course. But all part of the blueprint of your foundation. For most, home as a place will change from time to time, but home as a time will survive the movement from place to place.

As the world turns, life is learned how to be lived. Loves are found, lost, and found once more. The previous lessons of fear and pain help keep you alive. If you're lucky, those lessons help you feel alive. Humanity is the only species capable of challenging itself, and the realization that most refuse to take advantage of that is a little sad. The clock keeps ticking, and too many are wasting time.

In the afternoon you may find you've become your parents. Or you may find you've shed their walls and are something else entirely. Brothers and sisters may no longer share the same blood, but are closer than any family you've ever had. Then again, blood may have prevailed, and home is as familiar as it's ever been. Either way, it's not the edifice that provides comfort, it's the aesthetic. To each their own, it's said, and to their own something to smile about.

Evenings come too soon, whether or not you prefer the moonlight. Sunset has no patience and always comes, once bright light fading behind a horizon of endless horizon. There will be a new day tomorrow, a pity it's not for you. The sun may never set on empire, but reigns are temporary. Stories are shared around campfire for a reason.

Childhood seems unnaturally long when a child, and unnaturally short when an adult. Deliberate ticks signaling the passing of a monumental existence later realized to be a mere blink of an eye. The worst of enemies never reveal their true natures until it's too late, and time reveals itself only to the dying. The clock struck home, but that was hours ago. It's time to sleep.

No worries. The sunrise will greet you in the morning. Whether or not it lights the way home is another matter entirely.


  1. I have been thinking about much of this myself lately. The line: "Childhood seems unnaturally long when a child, and unnaturally short when an adult." - That is something similar to something I said yesterday.

    Great post.

  2. This seem a little lopsided. Too heavy on the youth side.

  3. I like the unity created around the day and the lessons gained in growing up.

  4. a very intriguing write from you jeff...insightful...i did chuckle at 'as the world turns' that still on tv...but anyway the days do seem to fly by faster the closer we get to dusk...

  5. Evening does come too soon. Now that I'm in late afternoon, I want to back up to at least noon. My favorite line? "Stories are shared around campfire for a reason."