There are two things I can never seem to get control of in my life: time and toast crumbs. Both overwhelm me. Time is obvious, everyone has some sort of conflict with time; either they manage it too well and run every aspect of their lives with it, or (like me) they find it a daunting adversary who steals way the waking and sleeping moments (ah..there it is again) of our lives. Toast crumbs, and for that matter dust, are also aggravating arch enemies, the more I try and subdue them, the more they taunt me and scatter. I could make a correlation between dust/toast crumbs and time; the effort it takes to try and subdue either is wasted in the energy you expend in a fruitless endeavor, but it would take up more time.
Time, being what it is, a measurement of everything, will always be a problem. It ticks away when I am not looking, slipping off and aging me without even asking and leaving me older and more frustrated. I try to order it, place it in nice manageable chunks, but to no avail. I look back and see the time wasted. Oh, how guilty I feel. But, I find it the most fascinating when I attempt to analyze what it is or what it is not.
And what it is not is what is so interesting. It is not the sum and total of who we are, yet we live our lives as if it were. We are (cliche alert) slaves to the clock, measuring out our daily tasks by the minutes on the clock. We all agree that when we are enjoying ourselves, time moves quickly, and when we are bored, time moves like molasses. But what if we never looked? I know, chaos would ensue...but we would also appreciate more of what is around us, allowing ourselves more time to enjoy it. There is always something to do, some creative thing waiting to be tried, yet, we, who are time-bound are so tethered to its demands and restrictions, we miss opportunities and let time become our task master. I realize, that in our culture, there is no way out of time, except if you moved to an island or out into the woods or far away from cities, towns or strip malls and grew your own food, and read lots of books. You could not shop anywhere but at 24 hour stores (but there, time is involved somehow) or watch television (program times) or pretty much interact with any of the outside world. But, you would have some control, or better, rebellious opposition to time as a measurable thing. Granted, you would still grow old, still have vegetables rot, and still sleep when it is dark and wake when it is light, but you would not be in servitude to every second that ticks by. But, for most of us, this is not a realistic option and so we plod along, shaking our fist at the clock...tic..tic...tic.
One of the most disturbing episodes of the 1960's classic t.v. show, "The Twilight Zone" was with Anthony Burgess as a meek bookish man with coke-bottle glasses who just wanted to read, who lived to read and who by his job, and his shrew of a wife, was not allowed to. All he wanted was time; time to read his beloved books in peace. Then...as he was down in the vault of the bank he worked in, the big one was dropped. An atomic bomb and a nuclear war knocked out all of humankind, and he emerged a sole survivor. He had access to the library, where the books were untouched, he had all the time, peace and quiet that he needed. He was elated. But, then...as only Rod Sterling loved to do, his glasses were knocked off his head and somehow crushed...he could not see anything, blind as a bat. Oh..the irony...oh the way that episode burned into my elven year old brain. I felt the fear of all that time with no way of passing it, the overwhelming gravity of loneliness, not even to have books as companions. (Follow this episode with the one with the fellow who has a stopwatch that could stop time and people, and then he accidently broke the stopwatch and was trapped with frozen people... and you have the angst of the 1960's completed...isolation and annihilation.)
Toast crumbs and dust will preserver, I will never be able to control either, and they will coat the counters and bookshelves (respectively) of my world. As for time- I need to somehow live within its perimeters, at least until the kronos is overcome by the kairos...when time is timeless.