What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know. If I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not. My soul is on fire to know this most intricate enigma. St. Augustine of Hippo
After more than a full year of Big Projects layered onto Big Project, I woke the last two mornings with my head empty,
“I thought your head was always empty,” younger son said via phone which made it safe to say.
Addle-headed is not the same as empty-headed.
I had no trip to organize (we’d had three over the past year), no pressing detail work, no painting or fixing, no editing or marketing. No renovations. All of which required Big Projects over the past year, usually more than one at a time.
The last two Big Projects are in: final galley edits on the poetry book went in Friday with all the dots, tiddles, M-dashes, misspelled words and commas marked and corrected. On Monday, taxes followed the trail to the post office, complete with K Schedule and A Schedule and forms with various numbers – several beginning with 88-somethings, and a second packet with the Missouri taxes and its several pages.
Both projects filled themselves with a multitude of numbers and fine details and checking and rechecking which filled my head the first thing upon waking. Big Projects, of whatever kind, do that.
What’s a girl to do with no Big Projects? With time on her hands and an empty head?
I’ve never been a big television watcher. A farm childhood and years of international living and travel took care of that piece of American culture. I missed most of the 80s decade all together. Actually, I missed a lot of the 70s too. What I remember from the 1980s is living in New Orleans, New York, St. Lucia, Mexico, and Washington D.C. – where I owned a television for the first time in years. The same television now lives in our bedroom.
It’s too cold and rainy to walk although my body could certainly use a long walk. A recent bout with amnesia and high blood pressure (fancy that!) precludes work with weights above my head. Yoga requires too many head down poses to spend much time with that.
So I stare out the window at a muddy yard, remember last summer’s drought. The oak has stubbornly refused to leaf out. It obviously knew something the rest of us only guessed at. Its time is not the calendar’s time. Its time is its own.
As is mine.
Time, that most elusive and unknowable task-master, stretching.