I’m Not Into Time-Yet
Which is, of course, a lie. I am very much into time, and I spend an inordinate amount of, well, time, thinking about this concept. Among the aspects of time that fascinate me, is how one period of time, the exact same interval as another, can seem to stretch out, depending on the circumstances.
There have been Julys that have sped by in what seems like the blink of an eye. There have been others that seemed to take months to complete. When I was in Korea, newly arrived by a couple of weeks, in July of 1972, I was the sorriest example of a human being as there could possibly have been. Immersed in my depression about being 7,000 miles from home, I was put through a litany of challenges by the army, seemingly bent on destroying what little morale I had left, with a series of unreasonably demanding tasks, that had me on the brink of despondency.
I credit the support of friends and family back home, and the presence of my oldest brother Eric, in Korea at the time in the Peace Corps, with pulling me through the whole experience. Being diagnosed with MSD, I can only now understand why it was that I was so profoundly depressed while in the military. It’s what MSD patients do so well.
Now consider July of any of the sixteen years that I taught, and I will show you examples of time running rampant. Even though I taught summer school, or ran enrichment programs, thirteen of the sixteen summers I was in education, July was always the easiest month. June was still caught up in last of the school year functions, including graduation, and August too much geared toward the upcoming school year, especially when the school year began in August, for time to relax.
July being easy means that, as much as I wanted to slow the speed boat down, and stretch those thirty-one days out, it never happened. The more I focused on enjoying the moment, the more I found myself being battered about by the wake of the departing vessel, known as July, bobbing up and down, and gasping for breath. “Just give me a little more time.”
Father Aidan, back in high school, used to assign after-school detention, and require the detainees stand for the sixty minutes, staring at the clock. Talk about a turtle’s pace, and I would have welcomed it. Try a snail’s pace, and then we’re on the same page. After an hour in Father Aidan’s detention, jobs such as peeling potatoes, or washing dishes, seemed absolutely scintillating.
Watching a typical Giants game on the TV, usually produces the tense drama that Duane Kuiper refers to as “torture.” Whereas, those of us know, who have been National League fans since the early days of the West Coast, Dodgers/Giants rivalry, tight, low-scoring games are the norm. That is real baseball; it just seems interminable, compared to a game when the Giants jump out to a quick lead, and methodically trample the opposition. Sure, that happens a lot.
They say time flies when you are having a good time, but that it drags when you are not. I agree, but I wish I had a formula to reverse the process. If I could attain the proper outlook over the elapse of time, and reverse the process so that the hard times could be sped up, and the enjoyable times slowed down, who knows? I just might make the cover of “Time.”