A tale for the time being
Visual from Mitski’s A Pearl, from her fifth album Be The Cowboy
By the time you read this, it will be February. You’ve gotten through the first month of the year—processing, experiencing, growing as we tread the unfamiliar waters of time we have yet to experience.
Time is fleeting. I feel it with each year I grow older. I try to understand it, as much as I can, but I still constantly feel unfounded by its very concept. My mother reminded me that I am turning twenty-one this year, as she peeked over my shoulder while renewing my passport. My instinctual reply was to immediately go “Oh my god, I’m old.” Yet I knew what I was saying was a complete lie. Most of the time, I feel as if I haven’t experienced enough time.
When we think about time, we think a lot about the boundaries that come with it. That’s not enough time. There’s still time. That’s too much time. Will you be on time? My biggest fear used to be that time would eventually stop. My worst nightmares have been ones where everything eventually faded into a black of absolute nothing—trapping me in my body, refusing to let me go.
Do you do anything that helps you resist time? Do you write yourself a letter for the version of yourself in the future, and throw it into a bottle in the ocean? Do you hug your pet cat, smelling its head and breathing in the scent of its fur? Does it smell like browned grass and the burning Southeast Asian sun?
Time is fleeting. But time, and all of its components in-between—life, death, photographs, handwriting, capsules, deleted tweets—exists with us merely as moments. Moments that pass, and moments that stay deathly still. I hope, in spite of your fears and your nightmares, you wake up—and you live. You live your life… now.
And now. And now. And now.
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