Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Have you ever heard someone say that ‘time is relative’, or that ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, or that ‘time drags by’ … or… ask ‘where has the time gone?’

Well, last weekend, my sweet husband and I attended a Chicago concert. It was one of those evenings where time felt altered – I got lost in sensory overload, the intricately blended harmonies and intense driving rhythms; four hours felt like four minutes. How did that happen?

Is time really pliable?  Or is it merely a way of measuring the cycles and seasons in the universe? Is it just a tool for organizing one’s days and nights, or is it something more… a function of perception?

Before the invention of the mechanical clock, the sundial tracked the sun in it course across the sky. Ancient astronomers measured more than the sun and moon; they tracked the planets along the ecliptic as well. Feast Days helped mark time through the year and dictated certain activities, with definite focus of attention and devotions. Various calendars were invented and adjusted to meet the needs of their times.

But what are the differences between in our modern times and those of the past? It must be more than inventions and technology. Has time shifted, or is it only our concept of time that has changed? Has our perception of time also caused time itself to evolve with our awareness or is it a constant straight line?  Can we work with time to bring ourselves back to the middle ground… or the center? And if so how would that work?

I like to think of time as  ‘where you are while you are busy with other things… and I was certainly busy with being immersed in the music at that concert… I was lost in the present moment of bliss for four hours!  But how do we describe an illusive concept?

Time is like the stride in between steps… the interval between musical notes. … the distance between two points.  Without the beginning, there could be no end…  time is what happens in between.  And we humans, indeed all things created exists in time. And as far as I know, humans are the only creatures who find themselves occupied with the past or the future. If that is so, then.. is that a good thing or not so good?… to dwell upon that which has already unfolded and cannot be changed, or that which has not come to pass?

Let’s say there are 2 points in linear space called the Past & the Future. We have already been to the past, and are heading into the future. But where are we at this very moment? Let’s call this moment the Present.

In this present moment, we can focus attention on the past or future. We can relive experiences of our past and wonder or worry about all kinds of things. Likewise, we can wonder about the future. We can plan, set goals, worry about potential catastrophes… all while we are standing in the beauty of the present moment.

Past, present and future make up our essence, for sure. But I believe that it is in finding emotionally meaningful purpose in the present moment that we make the most of our time on this earth. By giving attention to the here and now, we can figure out what parts of the past we’ve outgrown and what fits just right for today. We can also plan and dream about what we want our future to be from a balanced perspective. Clarity comes in its own time, as does healing. But staying in the present moment helps to identify and set clear goals for the future.

And did I mention synchronistic nature of time?… well, we also ran into friends from high school at that concert that we have not seen in decades, who also love Chicago… Great to see you Pat and Mark!

Daydreaming can be fun – even in a Chicago concert on a ‘Saturday in the park on the 4th of July’ because….    ‘It’s only the beginning…’