Thomas Mann wrote that time is the medium of narration, as it is the medium of life.
Unlike paintings, music, fine fabrics, or good food, each of which can elicit feelings, time is only a marking tool. Time has no sense-value like sight or sound, feel or taste to mark its passage. Yet, we are keenly aware of time throughout our lives. When a New Year is welcomed in we might enjoy partying with friends, drinking toasts, eating too much and making lots of noise. But the entity which we are celebrating goes fleetingly onwards, undisturbed by our activities. Time itself makes no noise. We can’t see it. We can’t feel it. But, we are aware of it.
We circle birthdays, holidays, and important events on calendars and “take time” off to celebrate or mark those days in some way. But time itself marches onward, always onward, leaving us to wake up the next day and begin all over again. And, as that time march goes inexorably onward, we are getting older, marking the time in seconds, minutes, days, years and decades.
What do we make of that time? It seems to me that the older I get, the faster goes that onward march of time. Grandparents have passed over the eternal bar marking the end of mortal life. Some parents, aunts and uncles are also gone, and others are on the cusp of that bar. I’m being pushed inexorably to the top rung of the ladder of life, protesting that I’m not ready to fall off into eternity. Yet, that time will come, as it does for each of us. The question then becomes – what do I do with the time I have left on this mortal stage, this limited ladder of time?
I’ve begun writing a daily blog, as a type of “modern” journal that might hopefully appeal to my children and grandchildren. My own grandparents and parents did not keep such journals, just occasional notes in a family Bible to mark important personal events. The little events of life, the daily passage of their time, the narration of their sojourn through life were not noted down. Those little stories, of pets they owned, of pretty dresses or lack of, of tricks played on siblings and parents, are things which I miss knowing about. Therefore, I’ve resolved to make the most of time, this medium of life, and try to connect with my family in a meaningful way. And, oh yes, to take plenty of time to read their blogs too – to listen as well!
Happy New Year to each and every one of you.