It's about time
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
April 1, 2023
A definition of time from Wikipedia states, "Time is the continual sequence of existence and events that occur in an apparently irrevocable succession." Time can creep when waiting in anticipation and fly when having fun, but you cannot stop time. It is continual, just keeps marching on. Or, so it seems. People have had a fascination about time travel, moving back in time or forward, depending on need and desire. Some people would like to go back to fix something they deem broken. Others want to see into the future where consequences of their choices and actions play out. Some people are just curious about times they have not experienced.
Can you imagine seeing the creation of the world or seeing that world in 3023? Many have such an insatiable attitude toward time, they push science to the unknowns, imagining time machines, portals and magical watches. But other than some hazy stories about the Philadelphia Experiment where a battleship disappeared and reappeared (which our government denies) most time experiments and explorations we see are regimented to stories in science fiction.
Mitch Albom takes a different approach in his novel "The Time Keeper." Using the framework of a parable, he leads the reader into contemplating time and its impact in our lives through creative storytelling. A young man thousands of years ago named Dar had such a fascination with time, that he kept pushing his mind until it was able to conceive its multiple complexities. That led him to create the first rudimentary clocks using sticks and stones and water. Man became intrinsically and forever bound.
In his journey, Dar grew up, was married, had a family, all with his head consumed in his quest to totally understand time. He walked a perilous path as his wife was dying and in the process, his life stopped, stood still, and he became what we identify as Father Time. The lessons Dar receives comes from centuries of contemplation and at the end, a precarious confrontation with two modern day people. What he learns is a lesson for us all and it could be well worth merging Dar's journey within our own.
Other stories relating to the lessons Albom shares are "The Magic of Ordinary Days" by Ann Howard Creed, telling the journey of a young girl who learns the precious lesson of a simple life and a gift of enduring love. Kathleen B. Soper's "Steps Out of Time'' shares the trepidation of a young mother who accidentally flushes a gold watch down the toilet. Even though time passes, the lost watch haunts her days. Twenty years later, she leaves her job, her family and her cell phone behind, to walk 500 miles across Spain, immersing herself in the world of the Camino de Santiago. Her pilgrimage of self reflection on the trail shines a light on many human conflicts and conditions we all share, including how we get so wrapped up in chasing time.
In the picture book "Ten Beautiful Things" by Molly Griffin, Lily and her grandmother search for beautiful things outside their car windows as they travel to a new home and life. Old times have been left behind with new possibilities looming ahead. Seeing beauty in unexpected places helps to put change into perspective and gives hope for future happiness. Sometimes we just need to take time to heal.
Time. How many times did I use the word time in this review? Time is everywhere, all around us, all encompassing. If we crunch time, worry time or just pass time, it can slide right by us unseen and with it a whole treasure of life experiences. We live in one of the busiest centuries since creation, everyone moving so fast to accomplish so much with so many in between moments lost. If we start paying attention to time, the quiet moments within moments, perhaps we can take a breath and be filled with something new.
*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.