Steven Luna is a Wizard of Words. He spellbinds syllables and turns letters into beautiful prose. This post is no exception, folks. Luna waves his writerly wand and crafts up a post that inspires us to cherish all the moments in our life because each and every one of them is precious.
Just a few more days left to submit your short story for consideration for the Orange Karen Anthology. Time is precious, folks. Use it well.
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The Miracle of Time
One of my all-time favorite ideas to head-scratch over is the notion that time only exists to keep everything from happening all at once. Albert Einstein said that…or a much smarter-sounding version of it, anyway. As thought-provoking concepts go, it’s a beauty: wise and elegant, and – if you think about it long enough – thoroughly sensible. There’s a reason they labeled that guy a genius.
And let’s be honest: it wasn’t for his wardrobe choices.
Although some of those sweaters were pretty damn sharp.
In one sentence, he captured the essence of time as a stepwise element of human awareness. My world view gives it a slightly different spin: time is a commodity unrivaled by anything in the universe. It’s the only currency of which you can never earn more, and you’ll never end up with a surplus of it by working harder to acquire it. In fact, the opposite is true: the harder you push forward in your pursuit of gaining time, the quicker you end up losing it.
Whoa. That’s kind of heavy.
This, too: You can measure the prosperity of a culture not just in its ready access to necessities and luxuries, but also in the ability of its people to exert control over how their time is spent. It’s become a twenty-first century norm to double-up on everything in an attempt to find more time somewhere. But it’ll never happen. You get the time you’re given, and it’s up to you to figure out the most fulfilling way to spend it while you still have enough of it to enjoy.
Maybe you can tell that this time thing is a pretty significant concept to me.
Undoubtedly, it is for you, too.
My belief is that each of us is a clock; our windings are finite, and we’re all ticking away our moments at the pace we set for ourselves. It fluctuates according to situation, of course; sometimes it rushes right by without us being aware of it doing so, and sometimes it drags along at an excruciatingly unhurried speed. No matter the rate at which it moves, it all comes with a defined limit that none of us is going to exceed. And because of this, possibly the greatest mystery of life is how much time do we truly have? Barring any extreme circumstances, almost everything else we come into the world with can be managed or controlled in some way. But we’re losing moments from the very first one, without a single hope of ever reclaiming any of them at all.
Sometimes, though, if we’re lucky enough, we end up with an opportunity to reset our own respective timepiece. Sometimes we get to wind the spring again and start anew, with a greater appreciation for the meaning of each moment as it arrives.
Sometimes, we actually do get a second chance. And with it, more time.
My friend Karen did.
She was in the golden hour of her life, her hands and her heart and her head filled with wonderstuff– a beautiful family, a slew of friends and a long list of creative undertakings to make use of her myriad talents. And then, with little discernible warning, something dire pulled the pin and stopped her clock.
For those of us who care about her, it stopped ours as well.
She hovered, and we hung, wondering how long and how severe her ordeal would be. There’s nothing like the prospect of a friend losing the remainder of her moments – and her husband and daughters losing the rest of theirs with her – to remind you of just how important your own moments are. Luckily and happily for us all, she pushed through it.
She’s a badass like that.
Whatever force exists within her, whatever power kept her fighting for her life when it was insistent on surrendering, it recognized that she wasn’t finished with her moments. She woke up with a whole new set of them. That’s not to say some of those moments aren’t difficult or without challenges. Of course they are. But I know for a fact she isn’t wasting or overlooking or wishing away a single one. She has done nothing less than restart her own timepiece through sheer force of will, zest for life and utter obstinance. It’s been incredible to watch her come back to the world with a renewed sense of How to Live Your Moments Well. She’s embracing it all with her clock once more fully wound, and her heart barreling full speed ahead.
We would all be wise to take a lesson from her: If you’re ever faced with the opportunity to defy a cosmic phenomenon as precious and unyielding as time, this would be the way to do it.
I don’t call her Miracle for nothing.
Steven Luna was relatively quiet when he was born, but that all changed once he learned to speak. Now? Good luck getting him to shut up. He’s not known for giving straight answers, but no one listens much to him anyway, so it all evens out. He’s hard at work on his next big novel…but really, aren’t we all?