Valuable Time

I don’t know how much time I have. It’s been true for a long time now. A long time getting ever longer. The more time goes by, the more the reality sinks in. I don’t know that the trajectory, the one tying my ever accumulating time to my ponderance and curiosity about it’s end, will stay. What I know is I have the second just passed. What I can assume is I have the moment before me. I can presume the days ahead and I can blindly trust the years laying out before me, stretching ever more beautifully outward into a peaceful and wonderful, assured existence seeped in love and garatitude and understanding. It’s the future I strain to make out in the hazy distance with dusk approaching and I tend to make a lot of decisions to serve that ideal state. That one that is least accountable to ever finding me. The one I wonder these days whether I’m imagining,  a mirage, acting on its promises.

  So, yeah. It’s autumn. The days are getting shorter and the night is stealing daylight hours and I’m suddenly consumed by thoughts. Rather I’m submerged in feelings. I’m a foreigner in their world. I know a few of them. Joy, sorrow, excitement and anger. Curiosity is an engagement of sorts and has an emotional intelligence to it, I suppose. Creative. That may live here as well. I don’t know. It’s beautiful. Rich with textures that can trigger anything. Scary too. I don’t speak the language and things are impossible to understand. I used to break down to depression and mute the varietals that swirl for some assurance. It was treacherous, but navigable and earlier, before I had my bearings it was the only way through. Anger worked and could kick in at any time, but now I’m a bit more comfortable with taking it in and accepting it as something I don’t understand. Sorrow and anger are still there, but less dominant. I guess that’s the mellowing I’m told comes in autumn.

There comes a time when time’s limits are undeniable. Largely, though not entirely. I will live every moment knowing and watching the limits I can predict inching closer. My limits, the limits I can see others breaching. Ones that will arrive at my doorstep, first from others and finally my own findings. Thankfully, when I turn around, as I will if I have time when the night finally falls on me, I’ll see in the eyes of those looking at me an eternity. A limitless shimmer that will go out forever, beyond the limits of imagination or folly or foolhardy selfishness. I’ll see a thousand lifetimes coming toward me stretching as far as the eye, the mind, the soul can see and in that moment I’ll perhaps feel free. 

The time that dropped from the trees to me when it bounded and flutttered in such summertime abundance that I couldn’t see any value in it is dwindling slowly and revealing its nature to me. I could look back on my earlier days and bemoan the myriad wrong ways I blew through my inheritance. I could do that. Many do. But that’s not how it hits me. It doesn’t. Sure. I wish time was so abundant now. I sometimes wish I could live long enough to bury my sons who would pass, wizened and aged and having spent a lifetimes and another’s of minutes and moments and experienced all. I wish I could do it so they wouldn’t have to say good bye to me. But it’s selfish. My moments, what time I have left is of infinite more meaning than the fortunes I’ve lost. I know now that the minutes aren’t mine. I know now that they are merely a gift. A gift I am tending, one that was given without warning and one that can disappear the same way. A gift I now treasure the way that I should. A gift that provides no longer the abundance it once did or the thoughtlessness the abundance allowed. I now know the value of my time. 

I won’t hide now. From anything. I’ll still wish. hope is times companion. But when I find myself in places I don’t understand I won’t be fooled into giving up my time. I can’t be convinced to crawl in my shell. Time has taught me through dwindling supply the humility I needed to know her value. The value of this minute. And the next and the next after that. Each minute a thing to notice. 

Love Is Our Value Proposition

via Daily Prompt: Sincere

Love is our value proposition.

This idea was presented in the waning moments of an hour long lecture on the state of affairs in my profession. There were more numbers and percentages and dire situations presented than I could keep up with, and I can keep up with a lot. It was a discussion intended to wake up professionals serving people with disabilities to some realities that happen so far above the ground level work we are so furiously engaged in that it can be and usually is invisible to us, even though we are swimming in the murky waters he described.

But this isn’t about how this relates to my work. Not solely at least. What first caught me was the way he spoke about the troubling horizon we could see. He spoke honestly and forthrightly and it clearly is causing fear on some level. But he didn’t stop there. He pivoted to hope. Earnest, honest, sincere hope.

This type of sincerity is brave. To speak honestly about that which is most under served, our vast potential to provide love in a sincere way is a show of vulnerability. It’s an honest acknowledgement of something so obvious but so unspoken: we all need love. It is crucial to well being. It is vital to having meaning and a sense of purpose. I think it might be the antidote in fact to all the roiling, free-floating rage that seems to be polluting our skies and sullying our connections to each other, ourselves and anything approaching the sublime.

There is a severe lack of sincere expressions of love and of need. There is an overabundance of hate and insecurity, masked in anger. We have come to define ourselves solely by what we are not. Well, the antidote is to stand bravely, remove our reinforced armor, one piece at a time and stand up and say what is true. I need love. I need to give love and receive it. I need to understand that my most daunting, most feared rival needs the same. We are all in this together and we need to love each other. We need to get comfortable with the thought that we all have needs and they all require others. It is not weak to need love, it is strong to say it. To stand bravely and risk embarrassment and shame and try to say our truth. We are all of us alone if we choose to reinforce layers and layers of defenses. We are failing ourselves and each other if the love we share and hold and hide in our homes and with our families isn’t a seed we take out into the world and try to plant inĀ  the minds and hearts and souls of others. In fact we will lose what little we have if we attempt to put walls around it and bind it and keep it from the rest of the world, who needs it so badly.