I think we can all agree, life is short. Other well worn adages resonate equally well: “Time is Precious”, “Live for the Moment” , and so on. Groucho Marx said “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.” Once one of the most recognizable names in comedy, his joke slides into obscurity as easily as he might have predicted when he thought of it. And you might well now think, who is Groucho?
This July I turn 69. That’s five years older than Paul McCartney’s young fantasy of turning 64. I can still remember what it felt like to turn 20 shocked that a decade had sailed by since I was 10. I knew then that our perceptions of how quickly the clock spins around is somehow skewed. Good times seemed to make an hour or even an entire summer melt away. If only I could somehow slow things down I might be able to wring out some extra life out of this mysteriously rigged system. “A Watched Pot Never Boils.” Aha! I had found the key.
This said, it is hard to enjoy “Watching the Paint Dry.” The edge I had discovered quickly fell flat under its own tedious gravity. It’s now been nearly five decades since I discovered my destiny as a musician as a twenty something. Whenever I play the piano, I might as well enter a time tunnel and wake up on the other side in what feels the blink of an eye. It’s the opposite of boring. Always. And I can’t help it, I have to play.
So I admit I have tried cheating time from time to time. I learned that a nap in the middle of the afternoon can make one day feel like two. I’ve tried multi-tasking but I am terrible at it. A minor victory over the perception of time could be the ultimate definition of a losing battle.
Time itself is not the enemy. We are all united in this plane of existence in a very one sided alliance with the rules of reality as we march towards the unknown. Boredom is a gift that should never be squandered, so let’s just fill it with love and relax, shall we?