Re-Defining Time


My world is not very defined by time.  Time has always been a somewhat slippery substance for me. It can elongate and stretch and I can bask and flop around in it- or it can fold and scrunch and move me into a tiny ball.  Only in the stretches of my Stage Management life does time work according to the laws of nature.  Which is probably why I love my job as much as I do.  The rehearsals, the tech, the production all work on “MY TIME” and it is so nice to feel the consistent hum of the world that I create.

Every other instance in my life is erratically timed out.

I lose time, I squirrel away time, I make time and I keep time.  Most moments I am crying that there isn’t enough time and then I am impatiently waiting for time to catch up so I can finish my next task.  I fluctuate between these worlds and it makes for a very anxious and annoyed Tricia.

This morning I awoke “late” started my rush to get breakfast in before 9am and get in my gym clothes.  I learned a valuable lesson my first week of working out that I need to eat before the gym but it has to be at least an hour before or I will vomit in the middle of Club Fitness.  So 9am and I am ready to go work out…. in an hour.  SO I wait.  Hurry up and wait.

This weekend I had an appointment on Friday and felt rushed to get it done so I could go home and make dinner and we rushed out the door to make it to the Mardi Gras Ball we were heading to and the speed of the day hit the bar-time drawl and the next 4 hours of dancing and drinking felt like a beautiful eternity of awesomeness!  The rush of expectations meeting headlong into the syrupy goodness of extended brass band dancing.

Even as I write this, I find the bursts of inspirations the quick tap-tap-tap of the keys as the words fly, zoom and speed through my brain onto the page, followed closely by the lull and space of quiet contemplation.  The varying speed of my life is hard to pinpoint and grasp.

A lot of this thought is stemming from the Radiolab episode from this last week.  I still haven’t had a chance to listen to all of it- but they were discussing the quarter of a millisecond it takes for what you see to register in your brain.  It takes that long for you to recognize the chair in front of you.  Much like the light from a star- that chair has already happened.  That it is impossible for one to actually “live” or “recognize” in the moment. *Brain Explosion*

If you haven't listened to the Radiolab podcast- DO!  It is amazing and informative and a treat for the ears.  The link below will take you to the episode I am talking about.

If you haven’t listened to the Radiolab podcast- DO! It is amazing and informative and a treat for the ears. The link below will take you to the episode I am talking about.

Radiolab- Speed

I am torn on if this excites or saddens me!  Many moons ago I was a dreadlocked hippie, searching for an existence that was perpetually “in the moment”.  Instant gratification was important and letting go of my past and disregarding the future was the goal.  The stoned chick-a-dee that I was really strived to live up to this ideal.  She failed miserably and was always frustrated that she couldn’t achieve it.

My brain is awful powerful- it is loud and annoying- it has an insane amount of opinions that usually contradict itself and has no qualm arguing amongst itself even when I am trying to accomplish something.  I would be meditating, quietly in my home, hearing the soft pug snore from Red Dog and I believe that from the outside, if someone was to walk by, they would think “Why look at that perfectly peaceful flower-child at one with the universe!- How Divine!”  In actuality I was screaming inside: “now what! NOW WHAT! Is this it? Boring!  Sit straighter sloucher!  How should I be holding my hands- this doesn’t feel natural- but this is how they hold their hands right?  Who is “they”?  Why am I thinking of “they”? Stop thinking!  STOP THINKING!… NOW WHAT!?!?”


So hearing that it is IMPOSSIBLE to really “live in the moment” made my brain self go “YES! NO ONE CAN DO IT!!!”  But then there was a wave of sadness in that I’ve never truly experienced it.  When I know I have!

I live in the moment during those beautiful rehearsals that everything clicks- that an idea turns into another idea and turns into an epiphany.  I live in the moment when I am dancing to a song I’ve never heard, but I am reaching my soul out to the musicians and know exactly when we hit that bridge and can shift and shimmy in time with the beat change.  I live in the moment when I am having a conversation with my best-friend and she is telling me something that is so important to her that it creates a soul-thread and I feel everything she says so deeply that my internal organs quake.  It is visceral and complete.  I am in that moment.

These moments do require more than my eyes- they require my ears, my thoughts, my soul.  So maybe I am relying too much on the idea that it takes a quarter of a millisecond for my eyes to catch up but it’s instant for my heart to be there.  It’s immediate when I feel Roland’s touch.  It’s immediate when I hear Auggie’s happy whine as I walk in the door.  It’s immediate when I bite into a dark piece of chocolate.  Let my eyes be late- it’s just a reaffirming sense anyways.

I know I am thankful for my Dali-esque views on time.  I know that I really relish that I can slow and stop and speed and fill time.  That I can squander an afternoon watching tele and lose 4 hours or I can take 20 minutes with a great book and pass through worlds and lives worth of time.

How powerful indeed are we- when we consider what we can do with the time we have been given!

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