Spring 2016? Spring this morning? Maybe, Time says so but I’m not sure, certainly wasn’t spring Monday morning, bitter walking along the Bay in the wind, too bitter to pause for a sit-down on one of the E.BeachDrive benches, gaze across the Bay out the Pass and remember how it was, current slang is “back in the day,” where eighty year old men go to hide.
The blog has wandered there before, as does the mind, into Time, and it isn’t so that all we have is the Present. In the Narnia chronicle The Silver Chair, Poe, Eustace, and Puddleglum the marsh-wiggle are led captive through Underland. Herded along toward their destiny of finding Prince Rilian in the mission Aslan has laid on them, they come upon a very old man lying asleep in a crevice. Asking who it is, their captor and escort tells them, “That is old Father Time, who was once a King in Overland. Now he has sunk down into the Deep Realm and lies dreaming of all the things that are done in the upper world. Many sink down and few return to the sunlit lands. They say he will wake at the end of the world.”
I loved watching those Narnia, Lord Of The Rings, and Harry Potter movies with my students, all of whom, including my Kristen, headed off into Time and left me here dreaming.
“Film is an art that plays tricks with time. A movie is a fixed, finite, relatively short experience — a hundred minutes or so in a given viewer’s life — that can span years, even centuries. The phrase 'real time,' sometimes applied to movies that match their internal and external chronologies, expresses a wish and a delusion. In reality, as on screen, time compresses, expands, doubles back on itself and even, now and then, appears to stop.”*
In Apalachicola we had guidelines, well they were rules, weren’t they, let’s face it, for folks from out of town who wanted to stage their wedding ceremony in our beautiful setting, quaint old town and lovely historic church building. One rule was that no artificial music could be used, so no bringing in CDs or even synthesizers, only real music, live music. Our musicians, a couple to whom I gave the final say in what could be played, were quite sophisticated about music and could be judgmental and intolerant with young lovers planning their wedding. I remember the man’s reaction, I’ll call him Dr. Boddfer to guard his privacy, the day a couple said they wanted a friend to sing “The Rose.” Well, they had him, because it wouldn’t be a Bette Midler CD, it would be a friend singing a cappella. But he raged at me later, “it’s the worst kind of music.” I didn't respond, rather liking it:
Some say love it is a river,
that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love it is a razor,
that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love it is a hunger,
an endless, aching need.
I say love it is a flower.
And you it’s only seed.
It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking,
that never takes the chance.
Its the one who won’t be taken,
who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long.
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with sun’s love
in the spring, becomes the rose.
Of the old man, Aslan later says, “While he was dreaming his name was Time. Now that he is awake he will have a new one.” I don’t know. Maybe. We'll see. Or maybe we won't.
We wouldn’t be human if we lived in a creation where all we had was the Present, which may be where Adam was before Eve noticed the snake and ate the forbidden fruit. There’s that promise, which changed over the ages as we came to believe in the future that we think we want after this. The promise is tenuous at best, and beyond the pale, “the veil” as Harry Potter has it, we can’t come back. Not so here in Time where, and thank you Everly Brothers, all I have to do is dream.
Is life delusion, or fantasy? Neither. It's something we do to ourselves in Time. Maybe it is spring.
DThos+ in whatever +Time+ really is
* From an online review of the movie “45 Years” taken from the short story “In Another Country,” which is where Time really is anyway.