Viewing Time as an Ocean

September 5, 2011
Wouldn’t floating in the ocean feel more relaxing than rushing to catch a train?

Boat on a quiet ocean near New ZealandThis year has been filled with more trips than I usually take (five so far) and with each one I try to follow the standard I set back on March 14 in Maintaining Sanity While Preparing for a Trip. Haven’t always done that as well as I would like, but that’s definitely my plan this week as I get ready for two weeks in Europe starting next Wednesday.

As I approach my list of  “wouldn’t it be nice if I could also ______ before I leave, ” I am thinking of a recent blog post by David Spero called The Ocean of Time. In it he considers the very nature of time itself as a way to counter our tendency to squeeze more plans into less time than we have to do them.

First, he reminds us that we usually think of time as a “rushing river, or a speeding train,” perhaps the “bullet train that we have to chase and catch or risk being left behind, or run over.  Then the next day we will have to chase the train down and catch it again.”

He then reminds us that a farmer watches the seasons go by and recognizes that as the seasons change, he will have a change to do something next year. Finally, David suggests that we might change our idea of time if we “imagine time as a lake, or a still sea:

“And you can float on it, you can splash around in it…  You have centuries of time to the right of you, and centuries of time on your left.  And ages of time behind you, that got you to where you are, and ages of time in front of you.

“You still have things to do.  But now you have all the time you could ever want, or ever need, or ever use.  An ocean of time, spreading out in all directions to eternity.  No way to be left behind, no way to be left out, no time limits to expire…it goes on forever.”

Of course, he points out, “if you spend your whole life in the ocean of time, you will miss some appointments.  But if you spend your whole life on the bullet train of time, you get to the end far too fast, and you will miss most of the scenery along the way.”

I am trying to follow his advice and first do what must be done (like packing, which I will begin today). Then whatever time is left may or may not include writing “evergreen” posts for while I am gone.

Incidentally, I learned the term evergreen this week in a column by Meghan Daum of the Los Angeles Times. She said that “evergreen is journalist lingo for a topic that, like its namesake, is always in season (or, at least, one that won’t go stale immediately).”

Would like to find time to do a number of posts so you have material to read on the blog, but if I don’t, I hope you enjoy what you find here. And if this is my only post for September, just remember that I am floating in the ocean of time and enjoying myself immensely.


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Here are a some related posts from this blog, and articles from the Support4Change website:


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