Time: / by Jennifer

Highway 287, September 2, 2012

Highway 287, September 2, 2012

Time is the starting point for the painting I am currently working on.  I am looking back in history, thinking of the vast evolution of time, both geologic and human.  However, this long look at time has caused me to examine my own micro-relationship to time.  As a Westerner in the 21st century, I am often in an argument with time.  I either don't have enough time, or I am frustrated that the "future I envision" time has not arrived, or I am disappointed in the way I spent my time in the past.  It is really a humbling and slightly embarrassing moment to bring the microscope in to examine my relationship to time.   However, there is pay off in this akward exploration, freedom.  The most simple start to this path to freedom is posing the question:

"What would my life be like if I did not argue with time?"

It is a radical notion for someone like me, so trained in judging the past, present, and future and how it is not living up to my "standards & expectations".  It's as if I have my own Standard & Poors rating index for time.  Time rarely fits my "standards" because of the poverty in which I view time.  However, ever optimistic, even with my judging self, I indulge in imaging what a day in the life of not judging time might look like:

  • Waking up to realize how lucky I am to be in a warm, cozy bed lying next to the man I love.
  • Drinking hot tea and eating toast, which to my surprise, I truly still enjoy even though I have eaten the same breakfast almost every day for years. (boring, yes, I know)
  • Meeting whatever task at hand with an openess and curiousity.  It really doesn't matter if it is doing the dishes or going to the studio (even though being in the studio is my favorite use of time, and probably is the one place where I have a healthy relationship to time.)
  • Arriving early to events to greet time gracefully as the next convergence happens, rather than holding onto a past task thinking I must complete it in a certain way in order to meet the next task...late.
  • Looking and listening to the people and things I meet, the trees and sky, birds, cars, bikes, even cracks in the sidewalk as I move through my day.
  • Being open to surprises and unexpected turn of events, knowing that my relationship to time is maleable and surprises are the gift of being present to its unfolding...and this may or may not follow the laws of the clock.
  • Returning to my bed looking back on the day with appreciation and grace, ready for a full nights rest.

Sounds pretty good at 10:21 in the morning!  I'll see how I do today, removing myself from my abusive relationship to time...