Thursday, July 17, 2008

what time is it?

I bought a cheap watch from the crazy man
Floating down Canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says 'now'

Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And if I have trouble, the warranty said,
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it, just nod your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on

-- jimmy buffett

the neighbors have a deck with unobstructed views of the olympic mountains. we've spent some evenings with them this summer, talking about transitory things, sipping wine, watching the sun settle behind the peaks.

the moment it does, the husband quietly marks the time, noting the sunset is a little earlier, and a little further south, than our last visit. and we all let out a little sigh, knowing that another summer is flowing past like a tide that goes out but doesn't come back in.

we have a similar view from our kitchen window. last night, amidst cooking and cleaning and scurrying around, i stopped and watched as the sun winked out. i silently marked the time, trying to capture the fleeting magic of a warm summer night. and i realized that no matter how hard i try, i can't seem to live in the 'now.'

how is one supposed to live in the now when it's over before you can even acknowledge it? the past is a long river of memories; the future is a waterfall just up ahead. you can't see beyond the edge until it's too late, and it wouldn't matter if you could, because you're going over. the 'now' is a futile attempt to grab onto a rock or an overhanging branch as you're swept along. you might catch something for the briefest instant, but the current immediately breaks your grasp.

for the past three weeks or so it's been sunny and near-warm and kind of timeless in seattle. each day has been like the last, in that the morning light comes early, the evening light stays late, and we've very purposefully tried to soak it up, charging our solar batteries for what's ahead.

this morning the clouds were back, and a very fall-like fog was moving through from the west. sound doesn't travel well through the mist, and the neighborhood was near-silent. very briefly, i was in the 'now,' and it felt like something moving past, and something slipping away.

i got in the car and drove toward the waterfall.

breathe in. breathe out. move on.

No comments: