Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Impossibility Principle

I have used this space before to document my longstanding battle with - and rage against - time.  While I know not whether it is related to the fact that the nature of how I earn my living requires to track my time in measurable increments, I know that time is first among equals of things that I simply neither can comprehend nor control.  Whether time waits for anyone at all I am not smart enough to know.  I know simply that it does not wait for me. 

Further proof of that arrived Tuesday night courtesy of the fine folks at HBO.  With the Missus and Suz out running an errand or two, I was home alone with no baseball to watch (do not attempt to pass off the All-Star Game as actual baseball.  It is nothing more than a poor facsimile thereof.  Want proof?  The winning pitcher Tuesday night - former Yankee Tyler Clippard - "earned" a win while giving up a hit to the only batter he faced) so I flipped around the dial while Rosie and I were sharing my dinner.  I stumbled across the final twenty minutes or so of Independence Day, which is one of my favorite silly big budget movies of all time.  Who cannot smile at the thought of Harry Connick, Jr. (a) playing a hotshot pilot named Jimmy Wilder (do not look for him in the sequel); and (b) uttering, "Time to kick the tire and light the fires Big Daddy!" to fire up his squadron in their pre-flight briefing?  You bring the wine, Independence Day brings the cheese.  What flavor you ask?  Unabashed. 

Anyway, my point about Independence Day is that while it still seems to me to be a cheesy flick that came out just a few years ago, it is in fact fifteen years old.  That is a decade and a half ago.  Or if your watch is from the Abe Lincoln collection, it is three-quarters of a score.  Fifteen years.  Where did that time go? 

And it went of course where time always go.  It went by me as I lived through it.  Fifteen years ago my kids were in fact kids.  Neither of them was yet a teenager (although I am sure there was already a boy or two who had popped his head above the tree line chasing after Suz whose life I had threatened to end).  Neither of them was yet in high school.  None of my hair had yet turned gray. 

In a decade and a half, so much has changed.  Neither of my kids has been a child for a long time.  Thankfully neither of them is still in high school (proving that my genetics by osmosis did not bark them up too badly).  Each of them has - in the years since - added not only a high school diploma to their respective bags of tricks but a college degree as well and - in Suz's case - a Master's degree for good measure with the prospect of a Ph.D. directly in front of her on the horizon line. 

We do those things that we must.  Those things that ensure not just the continuing vitality of the Tribe but - hopefully more important to us - the continuing vitality of our little section of it. It may indeed be a different thing for each of us, yet we all know what it is and recognize (or should anyway) why it falls under the category of a "must do".

Hopefully, there is a little sliver of our day to day devoted to the thing or things that we choose to do.  The things that we do for ourselves.  Things that perhaps the world at large considers optional but that to us are as necessary and as vital as the air we breathe is to us.  For me, this little corner (can one have a place with a definite shape out along the information superhighway) of the world is such a thing.  I write the silliness I write here on a daily basis not solely because I want to - although it is most assuredly something I enjoy.  I do it because I need to.  It is an exercise that is equal parts therapeutic and cathartic. 

And it an exercise that now and again permits me to mark time and its passage.  It occurred to me just yesterday morning that it is now just about three years since Rob began the professional journey that has placed him in the Mountain Time Zone, markedly closer to my Alma mater than to his own.   A lot of living - and too much dying - has gone on since he headed down to Georgia three years ago this month.  While life is an exercise in moving forward, it is nice to have something to serve as a snapshot of where you once were and what you were thinking at a fixed moment in time.  Nice to have something to help you "remember when" even if for just a little while. 

When real things are gone, they are gone.  Like the childhood of your children.  Or the non-gray whiskers of your beard.  Not a thing at all wrong with that either.  It is just the world's way.  And it does not just impact me in my life.  It happens every day to everyone....

....all of the time.


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