Monday, June 21, 2010

Stuffing cushions

May I occupy a moment of your time with a brief ponder?
I put the question like that because that is what I need to ponder on . . . the perplexing subject of time.

The morning paper has just been delivered . . . a half-read book is waiting on the table . . . there are a host of new emails demanding attention in the IN box, and don't even mention the
washing-up! I'm sure that your life is much the same, each day presenting yet more activities all in competiton for the every minute of the time available. Not only that, as a race we seem intent on creating as many time-occupying pursuits as possible, we are never satisfied unless our diaries are full and every moment mortgaged.

Why . . . ? Are we steadily growing happier as we create more and more time-occupying pursuits? It doesn't feel like that. On the contrary, the very pressure we create by trying to cram yet another commitment into an overcrowded diary squeezes out the pleasure. There's another factor . . . have you noticed that the more we try to cram in to every congested second, the more speedily time rushes past? Incredible as it seems, we are already galloping through June 2010. What happened to 2009? Did I blink . . . ?

Wouldn't you agree that we all have a strange attitude towards time? It's as though it were an empty cushion cover that needed to be stuffed full in order to be appreciated. Which, when you stop to think about it, is sheer rubbish. It's the cushion cover that's the inexplicable miracle, not the stuffing.

In fact, whilst concentrating on the stuffing of our cushion, we completely ignore the cushion itself. We do our utmost to fill time . . . but we can't, for all our ingenuity, all our cleverness, create one additional second. I can give you a book to occupy your time, or chatter on like this and waste your time. What I can't do (would that I could) is to give you one, brand-new second of time itself.

I wonder . . . by filling this precious commodity to bursting-point are we studiously avoiding the fact that, for each one of us, time is finite? Were we to have an unoccupied minute, a second of stillness . . . might it reveal a truth that we're unwilling to accept? Or, more positively, cause us to wake up to the incredible wonder of the unstuffed, uncommitted moment?

And I'm as guilty as everyone else. Here I am, taking up your precious time with wafflings and ponderings.

My sincere apologies . . . let me give you back the far more valuable gift of my silence and some time to yourself!

Enjoy . . . !