Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Week 4

Today is week four of this month's theme - The March of Time. I missed the first week because I was out of town and I struggled to come up with ideas for the the rest of month. This was a really challenging theme for me. I didn't know what I would do for this week's idea until late last night and then I had to wait until daylight today (what there was of it today) to photograph it. Actually, I had William play camera man to my director. I'm very happy with the results. (And just for the record, do you know how hard it was to find a one-way street in our quaint little hamlet!?)

I wanted to capture the idea of linear time. I often prefer to reflect on the circular nature of time. Day turns to night turns to day. Monday moves to Tuesday moves to Wednesday moves.....to Sunday which then moves to Monday again. The years roll in a neverending wheel of seasons. Life.... death...rebirth...life...death...rebirth...

Yet time is more then just circling back on itself. Life's patterns may go around and around, but they don't just come back to where they began. The events, the experiences, the time we use, is gone and a new swing around the cycle begins. On a spiritual level, time spirals - all new becomes old becomes new, all birth becomes death becomes birth, all beginnings become endings become beginnings. But they are not the same beginnings.

Which is why, on a day-to-day level, a personal level, we experience time as a linear commodity. One chance at this kiss, that interview, the first hello, the last goodbye. Last summer isn't interchangeable with this summer to come. My son of twenty years ago isn't recognizable as the man of today. Sometimes there's only one chance to make something happen, choose the path, say I love you, or choose to keep silent. You can look back in time. In fact, we seem to place great importance on capturing the past in journals, photographs, stories, blogs. Yet no matter how many words you write, no matter how many photos you keep, you can't GO back in time. You can't rewind it, or redo it or remake it.

Even as it's happening, we are confronted with the directionality of time. Once a series of events are set in emotion, there's a point where we grasp that there is no going back. It might be something as simple as an elbow swinging round a bit too far and a cup is suddenly airborn and then there is no cup, only scattered pieces of what once was a cup all over the floor. You might be able to glue the cup back together, buy a new cup, or if you're incredibly talented, recreate a new cup to look exactly like the first one. But the original cup existed in a piece of time that can no longer be accessed or changed. Sometimes, when it's simply a cup, it's easy to accept the flow. It's more difficult to embrace when we break something more important, like a heart, or a life, or a goal.

For better or worse, time is a one one way street.


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