When I was young, I married someone 15 years older than I was. (That’s 1.5 decades, sounds different using those words.) We had some great adventures packed into just under 10 years. Had we stayed together, by now we’d have been together 4 decades.
So much has happened in those 40 years. It’s a jumble of adventures flowing in the river of time. Now and then, pieces of memories jump up from the surface like a bright, shiny, rainbow trout arching out of the water. And now, I remember learning to fish from my grandparents.
They bought me my first and only fishing pole. They took me to the sandpit outside of town. Was that bright blue pit of water stocked with fish or somehow still connected to the river? Years later in high school, we headed out to the sandpit on a Friday night after dragging 10th and Main for a few hours. (Ah the days of cheap, cheap gas!)
floating on my back
hands with fingers locked behind my head
long hair floating around my head
legs bent at the knees
feet pedaling softly as if I was riding a bike
gently cycling around the surface
looking at the black velvet sky
no electric lights in sight
sounds muffled by the water
knowing my friends were on the shore
I don’t remember swimming to shore, getting dry? We didn’t plan this adventure so didn’t have towels. I don’t know who was driving that night, who else was there, which sandpit we went to (there were many around my town by the river), or anything about going home – just the dark sky, the deep quiet of floating and pedaling with my ears underwater. It felt as if I’d always been there and always would be. And am I? Still there? Since I can visit that slice of memory as if it is right now?
Does four score and seven years sound like less or more than 87 years? Four decades since I first married or 40 years? Does bundling the years into decades make the days that filled them more or less memorable? Does it make the time from beginning to now seem shorter or longer?
My great aunt lived to be 98. When she reached 90 she said, “Ninety is no age for a lady.” Her sister was born in 1898 and lived across a century change. I always felt my great aunt who was born in 1902 wanted to live across one, also. She’s been gone 22 years. I’m the age she was when I was 10 – how is it possible that I’ve traveled through all these days, months, years, decades, and scores?
When I was little I always knew I would get old, even older than I am now. I just had no idea how it would happen – hours flowing into days, into weeks, months, years, decades, and scores. Hours spent in studios learning dance technique, spent in rehearsal, spent performing, teaching the joy of being in the moment.
And now, I see how I got older without noticing it. Being present one moment at a time, this one now, and this one, each one right here right now. When, momentarily, I look back, there is a river of nows filled with wonderful and frightening, awesome and sad now moments all flowing together into a ribbon of what I call time passing.
What are your thoughts about time, memory, and now?
I’d love to know, send me a message.