…time drifts slowly here…
…time drifts slowly here…
Markers – of the passing of time; and the rise and fall of tides; for the times we stood our ground and those in which we were just plain stuck…
We do well to mark those moments – if we don’t do it, maybe no one else will.
…in heaven, time is eternal; just a little bit lower, the time is 11.22 a.m…
‘Stepping It Out’
Stepping up, stepping down
steps cut both ways you know
take them to the top
or to the place below
if I cross you on the steps
let’s swap notes
on our destinations
or maybe stay awhile
in the middle
content without extremes
we step it out
the increments mark our time.
‘The Bend In The Water’
Time and tide move slowly at the mangrove-lined creek; there is an almost imperceptible sense of being connected to the motion of all things, as I stand at the water’s edge and when my mind is as still as my surrounds. Listen, watch, for it is there….
Spotted, in a church bell tower, before a wedding.
Spiral staircases are fantastic pieces of design, giving maximum verticality in limited space.
Spirals are found in many places in nature – in seashells; in the patterns of our own DNA; in galaxies of stars.
I reflect that I have spiraled both upwards and down in my own life.
The thing with spirals is that they cross over themselves at different levels.
I have found myself at different stages of life crossing over myself, or at least a version of myself.
Oh yeah, I think, maybe I have been here before; but at another level, in another time.
And when I find myself in one of those occasional downwards spirals, I have to remind myself that the set of stairs ascends also.
The newlyweds will learn that too…
Yeah, I know it rhymes with jingle bells and sounds sorta made up, like something from ‘The Hobbit’, but Dingle Dell is an actual place.
What it is, is a bushland oasis, a sanctuary if you will, right in the midst of suburban Auckland ,and only five minutes from my home.
Decades ago a group of forward minded individuals planted out the difficult terrain in native tree species. Matured now, it is the thriving habitat of numerous endemic species.
I was there yesterday, on the last day of school holidays, with my daughter.
She couldn’t recall the place. Surely I had taken her there…hadn’t I ? Well, not for years , if so. Remiss of me. I mean, I could remember being taken there by my parents but….
Together we stood quietly as tui and fantails fed and preened in the bush canopy. No one else around. Special.
My learnings from the time amongst the trees, navigating the shaded, serpentine tracks were:
That we often take for granted what is very familiar to us; we need to spend a little more time in the quiet wonder of nature – it is humbling actually – and , god, time really does fly – the child becomes the parent and is the guide, not the guided, in a flash.
Oh, and magic is everywhere, not just in fantasy fiction…
31 December, and 2019 totters on its last legs.
A wilted flower that is about to be chucked out of the vase.
Seriously, another year gone? ( another decade if you want to take the macro view ).
I may have figured out a few things in my life, but not where time goes. Probably fallen down the back of the couch or stashed in a shoebox somewhere…
All I know is that is once it’s been used up, you don’t get it back.
The quantity of time we had this year, if you got to the end of it (RIP to those I knew that didn’t) – is exactly the same for each of us.
The quality of it is an entirely different matter.
Good, bad, indifferent.
Productive or wasteful.
Exultant, Calm, Boring, Unhappy, Tragic.
Was love present?
And, did we actually learn anything new in the 365 days allotted to us this year? About ourselves, others, and the world around us?
Did we make any sort of difference ? (man, I hate that question but it does run the ruler of significance over what you do).
What, exactly, once the churn and froth has subsided, got left behind in our wake?
When the jacaranda is in bloom
when lilac royally adorns
the fading year
with a soft crown
of new possibilities
One of those cool multi-faced clocks that tells the time in different places around the world. The clock is in Singapore but this dial gives Vancouver time.
Love the concept of world time zones – while I am posting on my blog you may be asleep, and vice versa!
Or, on the longer time scale – some are living life to the full, while others are about to pass away.
I was driving around town yesterday and a song popped up on my Ipod’ s random play.
“Hands Of Time” by the criminally underrated Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith . Great, gorgeous and wise song and rendition , but not sure that he actually wrote it.
Some reflective lyrics from it:
” From the moment we are born
We’re in the hands of time
As drunk on life as death is sober
When we say goodbye
Though it hurts to lose a friend
May it help remembering
For every door that closes in
One’ll open to the other side
Opened by the hands of time “
Those words speak deeply to me of time, the ultimate healer and changer.
Okay, time to go…
My previous post The Presence Of Passion featured a single rose.
Here are a few more.
My then six year old daughter, in pinkish garb,takes in the fragrance of a neatly matching rose flower.
It was possibly the first time she had done so.
The saying “take time to smell the roses” is almost a cliche of mindfulness rhetoric.
But how often do we not do that exact thing? We know what they look and smell like. But we take them for granted, ignore them and so deprive ourselves of sensory moments of joyful rediscovery.
There are thousands of such moments that pass us by because we are think we are too busy ,or have simply become blase.
We have to make time for joy and newness in our lives,to discover and replenish.
For time is of the essence, just as rose petals are crushed to form the essence of perfume.
Which brings a telling song lyric to mind:
” If you don’t stop to smell the roses now
They might end up on you “
( Husker Du , ‘These Important Years ‘)
This can be a thing in restaurants – a tasty morsel, in this case a decadent dessert – on an oversize plate. Odd. This was such an extreme example I had to take a shot.
Which got me to thinking about those times in life which are not exactly brimming over and dripping onto the carpet.
You know, when you are between jobs or relationships, or a time of loss – and there is empty, and sometimes uncomfortable, space. We crave that time and space when life is frantic and when we are at odds with the life path we want or hope for, there is more of it than we want.
What to do with unwelcome time and space?
It’s a bit like the expanse of white china above – a blank canvas so to speak. The time of emptiness may become a place of renewal and re-creation, something massive in your life. Not something to fill the gap for the sake of it, but an opportunity to change something that’s not working, or head down a new path entirely.
And if that sounds all too much, you could at least sprinkle some f**king fairy dust, like icing sugar ,all over your plate….
The unblinking stare of a pouwhenua ( carved wooden figurine ) of Hoturoa.
Hoturoa was an an ancestral Maori naval commander of centuries ago.
His image stands upon an Auckland headland, high above the sea.
Gazing out over the ocean and almost, it seems,across time…
“I get these fleeting, beautiful moments of inner peace and stillness – and then the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day, I’m a human trying to make it through in this world”
– Ellen DeGeneres
“So many books, so little time.”
– Frank Zappa
I really find it hard to imagine Zappa actually sitting down with a book given his massive, sprawling musical career, but he must have – how else to explain the inspirations behind the often surreal songs? Or maybe he was lamenting the fact that his creative endeavours meant he couldn’t read everything he wanted to.
I know the feeling – my bedside table has a stack of half-read tomes and the shelves have many others I have been meaning to read or re-read. Frustrating!
Last night watched an episode of the new series “Catch-22” and realized that it was over thirty years ago that I read the amazing book by Joseph Heller (I bet Zappa read it too), and I had always meant to pick it up again. Time flying by…
Yet I know that the time and energy spent reading a book that miraculously seems meant for me, is a luxury that a time-poor person finds rewarded .Even if it takes a while for me to get to the end, the journey of exploration through others’ words and worlds on the way there is nothing short of amazing.
I could extend that to blogs as well. So inspiring to see other writers and bloggers frame things I may not even have heard or thought of and give of themselves in the process.
There is something alluring and reassuring about walking along a beach. Time stands almost still amidst the motion of waves and wind and the heat of the sun and sand. And, in this case, there are ancient , bleached rock formations that have been sculpted by the elements and will continue so, long after the walkers have departed and the holidaymakers returned home.
“Never give up, for that is just the time and place that the tide will turn”.
– Harriet Beecher Stowe
The tide clock above sat on the wall of a beach house we stayed at a few days ago. It simply told us when was best to swim in the ocean or to gather cockles in the estuary. Of course ,the tides of life are not so predictable. This blogsite is not called ‘Ebb Then Flood’ for nothing. One will surely follow the other but the timing and length of the stages in the cycle are frankly a guessing game and beyond our control. Stowe exhorts persistence – I think recognition of the phase your are in and acceptance of it are part of the equation too. Scrape the barnacles off the hull on the ebb tide, strap yourself to the mast when the flood tide hits and prepare for the ride!