sometimes a year is lavish and profuse, riotous as a gale. sometimes it goes breath by breath by breath, in tiny, tiny sighs. Minutes can be critical, decades without meaning or contour...
- anthropology of an american girl
do you ever think about how time has a way of moving at the opposite speed you want it to? how saturday afternoons can take forever or a week can take years when waiting for something. and how when something ominous looms time seems to rush toward it, as if it can't get you there fast enough.
i've been thinking of that lately. i always find myself thinking things like this at the end of something, like the end of semester or of camp, where endings become the beginnings of something else. i've been thinking of how time has no meter, it is not steady. we try to separate it and pinpoint it with seconds and minutes and centuries, but the truth is, time is about perception. it does not matter that a clock ticks regularly, what matters, what impresses, is that we do not.
time today is slow- slow because i've finished the work i needed to do this weekend, slow because i cannot occupy myself, cannot find something to keep my attention. but i know that when it's time for bed i will think, where did today go? how can tomorrow be sunday already? and my mind will race and bring forward like a rolodex the things i need to do before i leave- hand in assignments, takes tests, pack, say goodbye. i cannot tell you where this week as gone. i know i lived it and i remember it, i wrote about it, i was there for every second. but it feels as though it is slipping, like low tide when the waves keep coming in but each time they are farther from you and suddenly you find that they have receded from your hips to your knees to barely reaching two feet in front of you.
when time moves that way it reminds you that goodbyes are inevitable. i told bryce recently that i feel like all i've had in my life for the past few years are goodbyes- leaving janesville, leaving camp, leaving liam in more ways than one, megan not coming back to school in the fall, leaving here, and starting the cycle over again when i get home. maybe that's why i feel time moves so fast, lately, because goodbyes are something i do not look forward to and my days have a way of quickening when i know a parting is coming. a week used to feel so long to me; now i feel as though every day it's sunday and i'm thinking, where did this week go?
maybe time is subject to emotion instead of perception. like how things speed up when you're dreading something. i am not happy about goodbyes. though i'm excited to have everyone i've come to love here together next saturday night for my going away, the reason for it, the fact that it's my going away, makes me incredibly upset. not upset. well, yes, upset, but also unsettled and detached and lonely. i feel as though that night will be one of gently prying up the small roots i have begun to grow here. i know i will leave feeling partially empty.
and i know that i will be happy to be home, that i will probably cry and if not that then i will be smiling from ear to ear. i'm so excited to see dad and sandy and elise the night i get back, to see mom the next day and hopefully sami and krystle and danielle that day as well. to have a girl's night. to see john and meet bonkosi. and to get back to new york and see andrew... it will be good. i will be happy. but soon after that i will leave for camp, and it will be more goodbyes and more hellos, and more goodbyes after two months.
time... time is always getting away from me.