Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Diminishing Time

Not shooting for morbidity here, just realizing that whether the year is 2008 or 2007 or 2009 does not matter much anymore.

Retirement slowly ebbs onto my beach and with it an erosion of many formerly valued goals. Goals which have always been "out there" somewhere, perched on a chronological shelf, tantalizing, offering an ineffable and uncapturable joie d'accompli.

Retirement robs so many missions of their excitement and meaning. Meanings that were grounded in numerics, or visions of unrealized hopes or graspings. Meanings which have slowly dribbled from the now-empty pail--which is finally set down with no regret.

Now, the peeling away of seconds, hours and days reveals narcissistic extensions, cloaked in an assumed, indefinable holiness, which millinnea of efforts have failed to touch. Not even the hem of a holy robe.

And at last, alas, it does not matter.

What matters is the perfection of . . . obsessions (true for my tribe, if not for yours). Getting my matters ordered. Chipping off those barnacles which seemed so intriguing along the way. Flushing shames and guilts. All to be given away, placed in the recycle bin, or set on a small shelf, handy for the final journey.

What matters is learning to speak a simpler, common guileless language understood by all.

What matters is finding a way to mesh with my spouse in such a way that the time together is synchronized. So that goodness erases or eases prevous hurt. Smoothness of movement.

What matters is amplifying the joy and softening the pain for my children, and theirs.

What matters is dropping the cloak of chronos (quantitative time) for the qualitative time, sometimes called kairos.

Time waits for no man, they say. But it can slow down, before it stops.