Posted on March 15, 2019
by Steve Janowick
I wrote a novel several years ago…It is still one of my proudest personal accomplishments.
I was re-reading parts of it the other day and came across a line, a quote, a little wisdom, that a particular character was imparting to another. I was especially proud of this line. It came to me a few years prior during one of my infamous zone-out sessions. One of my daydreams. One of my deep ruminations.
I know…very self-absorbed, artist-type BS.
Anyway, the line went something like this: “You know, time is a peculiar thing. It creates a memory as it destroys a moment.”
This particular character in my book, who so eloquently uttered this line, was having his own contemplations about life; particularly, the struggles of living productively and fully in the present while hopelessly longing for the past. How that tug of war seemed to play out in every man at some point in his advancing years. And in a blatant (and some would argue cliché) example of art imitating life-that character turned out to be me.
I was acknowledging my own feelings of fear and trepidation and loss and uncertainty through a made-up character in my made-up story. The third person was attempting to comfort the first person. The story trying to ease the storyteller. I was saying I missed the way things used to be. I yearned for the warmth of innocence and the purity of naïveté. The freedom of youth. But in that same line I was also saying that I sometimes feel disconnected from the world today. Like I don’t belong. Like I just don’t fit in. Like I’m no longer relevant.
And, nothing’s really changed since the penning of that book six years ago. Except that as each day passes the more powerful (and frequent) those ambivalent feelings in me occur.
But, unless one is traveling at the speed of light and experiencing, first hand, Einstein’s warping of space theory, time can be relied on like death and taxes to tick and tock at the same intervals every hour, every minute and every second-of every single day. And since science fiction, regarding time machines, hasn’t gotten to science fact yet, we ain’t manipulating it anytime soon. Like it or not, we’re stuck in the here and now, baby.
And what does any entrepreneur worth his salt do when a demand, like a longing, presents itself? He provides a supply. Vintage, classic, retro: these words were barely a blip in the vernacular just a couple decades ago. But today? They’re everywhere. Clothes. Cars. Haircuts. Hell, even yours truly has gotten in on it. Color me guilty. I’ve recently dedicated my living to taking my fellow man on little trips down memory lane. Just hit the subscribe button and, how ever long it takes for you to read today’s post, we’ll forget about this dreadful time we’re living in for a few moments and revisit that time in our hearts “when it was all good and right.”
Yep, the good-ole-days sell, man. And right now, I’m both the manufacturer and consumer.
But is all this living in the past healthy for us? Who knows? I do know these are especially strange days were living in-indeed. The world is hyper-fast and ultra-contentions today. Everything seems heightened. Everyone’s on pins and needles. But with all that said, today is still our time on the clock of existence. Your blip on the radar. So, live it to the fullest! Don’t let the beautiful parts fade into the rear-view mirror without appreciating them. And don’t allow the ugly parts to define or shape your present. And, if your coping mechanism is a little escapism through daydreams about when life wasn’t ugly for you, then no harm no foul. Just keep it in check.
And don’t begin every single conversation in the future with…
Once upon a time…
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