What Writers Want

I have the trick of knowing time. Most days I wake up and get it. Like this morning, “7:35,” this is on a day off, not even a usual waking time. The light-up Timex on my bedside table says 7:32 — pretty close. Daylight savings time throws me off for a week or two and then I get back on the clock.

It’s a small contentment right out of the gate, before a toe touches the floor.

I know, I know, why not wake up and be mindful of my breath, or grateful for my man, or my cat or my kid, or break into Mister Rogers’, “I think I’ll make a snappy new day,” or get on my Carole King — “You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the World . . .” (in good time — that’s definitely a kitchen moment when the tea kettle is doing its morning magic).

Dr. Seuss had a thought on time, “How did it get so late so soon?” Ecclesiastes practically wrote the book, Groucho was known to quip on it, “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

Tennessee Williams, Mother Teresa, Einstein — -face it, it’s a famous subject: Time. It gets its share of the spotlight.

Timelessness too. (Advertising agencies love timelessness, since the beginning of time.)

This last third of life, being sixty now, what do I know of time? The poets and philosophers meditate deeply on the last years of life — when the mind is willing and the body fails, when value shifts and hindsight riffs on all the wasted moments. The end, reflectively contracted before inevitably enacted.

Timing is everything, time is of the essence, the timing belt on my car snafued and I just can’t make it into work. Who among us has not timed things to advantage, not taken the time, stated every time in hyperbolic gloat?

Politicians love time: It’s all about knowing when to give us the time of day. We’ll forget in time. It’s time for a change. Time is money.

(My two cents? Take your time. But not too much, you’ll need to support yourself.)

Time heals all wounds. Time changes everything. What grief has not attempted to master these social skills?

Turn on, tune in, drop out. Mock the minute hand. Stop the clock. Take to the Haight, Ashbury; take to the mountains, Maharishi. No beginning, no end — float in the big pond, bake in the orange sunshine, be here now, Ram Das, Ram Das. Time after time.

Once upon a time I thought I knew, “I was so much younger then, I’m older than that now.”

Is there ever a right time?

Believe me, I want to end this. Now. I get it. However much I am enjoying time inside my solipsistic writing bubble, obligation seeps in. I owe you some gem, at least some minor wisdom to close our time together.

So, gentle Reader, thanks much for this relief. Thanks kindly for your gift of time. Time well spent, we hope.

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