Monday, November 8, 2010

Only Time.

c. David Grim (taken 10/17/10)

"Time is important to me now, I tell myself. Not that it should pass quickly or slowly, but be only
time, be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by, so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not looking."

-Narrator, "Out Stealing Horses" by Per Petterson

It's not often anymore that I am so bowled over by a quote in a novel that I actually take the time to pull it from the text and record it elsewhere. But when I read this I was happy that I found a copy of this book at a garage sale for a buck this past weekend. It was on my radar, but I probably would have never taken the chance on this title if I had to pay much more than I did for it. I came across the author on Amazon after reading something that the site's search engine considered similar. Still I hadn't really been convinced that it was a "can't miss" selection.

Anyway... so far I'm enjoying the read. It's quiet and contemplative and gentle. But those words themselves are not. In fact they resound with authority, especially now that I am 40 years old. I've explained to others how I first experienced a serious sense of imminence when I turned 30. Nowadays that sense is almost overwhelming. One of the worst fates I can imagine is wasting time. I find myself structuring my days, and making deliberate choices about how to best spend my hours.

I don't want my life to pass by unnoticed. God forbid that I should reach the age of 80 and wonder what I did with the last several decades. Within the last couple of years I have learned how things might look when I view them with regret. That's not to say that I think I have made terrible choices, but rather that I want to make sure to avoid doing so in the future. And to cede intentionality in the favor of temporary amusement or consumption seems like a lousy decision to me. I just feel like I'm in a phase of considerable reassessment.


  1. this is a concept i have thought much about in my life too. trying to figure out the value of time or life in general. i usually end up thinking about other people's lives throughout time and how the value of their lives compare to that of the modern man. were their lives/time any more valuable/wasted/utilzed based on the things they focused their attentions on? like did the caveman have a less fulfilling life because he didn't drive his beemer to a 9 to 5 job and make loads of money for the man? or build a scyscraper? or even fly a kite? was his time spent simply surviving or did he have moments of bliss and awe with his experiences?
    i guess it's just another one of those things we can never measure or quantify.
    just enjoy what you choose to do and appreciate every moment you have until your time runs out. i could ramble on with my opinions but i won't wastse the time...

  2. The lives of cavemen were rendered virtually meaningless because they didn't have access to the internet.