A friend just said to me, I just wish I could fast-forward life six months.
So I started thinking about it. How would that be? How would we use it? What would we miss?
It’s easy to look back and see blocks of time in one’s life that simply had to be endured; times when things were out of whack, when days are painful and gray, or red with anger, or simply a haze of boredom. I can see eras where I could take six months away and never miss them.
But how do you know where life’s most important experiences lie? How do we know where it is that we learned something? We don’t always learn from the good moments, the exciting moments, sometimes it’s the agony of time’s passage that teaches us about who we are.
Would you fast forward, when you have to wait?
Waiting is, of all life’s challenges, my greatest. I hate lines (Well, ok, I liked *that* kind, I mean lines, as in queues). I hate waiting rooms. I hate being early and having to wait for someone I’m meeting. I hate it when I have to be patient. I want it now. I’m Veruca fucking Salt, dammit.
But there are times when nothing I do, nothing I can do, can hasten the flow of time. There are things which must happen at their own speed. Seasons, changes, evolution. Healing. Growth. Things need space and time, and conditions.
Patience, jackass, patience.
What would we lose? When my children were babies, there were low moments where I wished, why can’t I just speed this up or run it forward? But now I look back, short blinks of time, seasoned with tender memories. I would pass the weeks of frustration being a support organism for a mindless screaming want, yet, I might miss the golden seconds of a baby’s first smile, first laugh. Seconds of joy in weeks of pain and frustration, yet they balance easily.
What else might we skip by if we could hit that button and jump forward six months? Would we find that life’s travails lie behind and only a clear golden horizon lies ahead? Or would we find things unchanged, time lost, important moments never experienced, and life’s ballast of problems still strapped firmly to us?
We don’t have a button to push, so the point remains moot, or at least rhetorical.
There’s one way; the hard way. We can’t skip a page, we can’t run a scene ahead. The best we can manage is to fill our days to the point where they roar past, or numb ourselves to the passage of time.
There are days though, where simply being able to look ahead would be enough. Am I on course? Will all the work, the wait, the patience pay off? It makes one understand faith, something I have not and do not truly want. But how comforting it must be to be able to say, I know it will work out in the end, for my faith tells me so.
But for me, it’s simply waiting, and oh, how I hate to wait.