“Some say time is like water that flows around us (like a stone in the river) and some say we flow with time (like a twig floating on the surface of the water). My sense of the world tells me otherwise. I believe that time is like a train, with men hanging out in front of the engine and off the back of the caboose; the man in front is laying down new tracks the moment before the train touches them and the man in the caboose is tearing up the rails the moment they are past. There is no linear continuation: The past disappears, the future is unimagined, and the present is ephemeral.”
— Chuck Klosterman
It hurts less with each day, but there are days when it still hurts — that twinge of nostalgia that’s more like the leftover pain from a wound I still purposefully poke.
I do it to myself consciously, dragging through these memories of the past decade, finding the ones that are fresher than I thought and rolling them around in my fingers like a marble. In the last 10 years, I’ve gotten married, divorced, graduated from college, began a career, had a son, sent my son off to school for the first time, bought a house, bought my first car, ran a half marathon, jumped out of a plane, made new friends, lost old ones, had my heart broken, my world shattered, my life built back up again, found G*d and lost him again.
I know it’s absurd to suggest I’ve grown more in the last 10 years than during any other decade of my life. But in some ways this feels true.
And through it all, I try to catalog these memories, to write them down and remember them. For if I don’t, as I’ve said many times here already, these memories and feelings will be lost forever.
And then there are days when my words get logjammed in my throat and I can’t find a way to break the dam and understand what’s happening to me.
There are days when it feels like my blank pages remain blank, and the world turns and the sun rises and the sun falls and people wake up and people shower and people work and people eat and I continue on in this hum of existence like a blur. During these days my life feels like a photo distorted by a shutter speed that was too slow to keep up with the action. Nothing of substance may occur, but I still fail to feel and experience much of what does happen.
Then there are days like nearly every day the past two months, when almost every day is bursting with a new and jubilant memory.
Sometimes these moments are small, like coloring pictures in bed on a Sunday morning.
Or bowling at a birthday party.
And sometimes these small moments are part of a bigger moment.
Like moving my girlfriend from Columbus to Marietta and making an impromptu fort with Ky from the empty boxes.
Or grabbing a lunch of hummus and lentils with Jess at the North Market.
Or coming home to my girlfriend practicing her ukulele.
And in these moments I could get lost forever. In these moments, if I could, I would suspend time. I would stop that train from barreling onward and take just another minute to cherish the scenery, to breathe in the air and smile. For if I don’t, these moments will become just another memory, and thus, in some small way, less real.
If only I could stop that train …