Protecting Time

art of writing

I’ve been feeling very protective of my time lately. Almost like I’m being chased by something. Or like I anticipate that my lifespan is going to be a short one.

Maybe this is the truth: all of our lifespans are actually short ones. Maybe I’m just now feeling the pressure of mortality. (I don’t mean to say, Gosh, I’m old. Because I’m not. I’m quite young, which doesn’t mean that mortality isn’t on my mind.) Maybe in my heart the tick-tick of time passing has suddenly become amplified.

I feel impatient more often than I used to. I land in a space of irritability more than I’d like to. I take pleasure in the deep rooting of my body in things like good books, and there is no pleasure in trying to force myself to finish even a seven-paged story in The New Yorker if I feel as though the story is not contributing to my life. I find myself angered if I’m in a situation that makes me feel as though I’m in limbo — not in one place or another, not involved in my experience of the situation in a way that feels useful (and what is the definition of useful?).

I’m not saying that this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I do wonder if this has to do with my mental absorption in the world of my book, which is expanding to take up an enormous swath of my mind regardless of where I am or what I’m doing, as though it’s whispering to me, Let me be finished. Let me have my time.

Right now I’m reading The Three Marriages (Whyte), which is about the marriage to the Self, the marriage to one’s vocation, and the marriage to another being, and how life is in the unity, or marriage, of those three marriages. Which feels like a very appropriate thing for me to be reading right now.

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