Too often I lie half citizen to the dream-world and half aware of the directions my musings may choose. Re-calling scenes and faces and moments to remembrance, I wonder what profit such exercises may offer. Yet I can ill afford to suppress such habits – they are too ingrained.
The picture fleshes out my own longing – to share in the joys such a space offers; the joy time well-shared. Tonight it is that dust-scoured basement but quickly the picture can shift to a tranquil moment in the outfield, to climbing that tree’s low-hanging arms with my sister, or to traversing the fields of Oxford, or merely sprawling on a mildly uncomfortable couch drinking in words far beyond my comprehension whilst amused by the most welcome of sounds—rain on a reading day.
Consistently such images arrest me and I can do little but wish to be back there. Worse, I wish that time would stand still so I could again appreciate the presence of being there. Surely such a wish should never be granted, however. To arrest time at this very moment would require halting all motions, both perceived and imperceivable. That would require that I too experience a forced pause – I do n’t know that my mind could appreciate the experiment. At least, it is n’t what I ‘m asking for.
Perhaps I merely desire to experience time without obligation. But that can’t be it either: the burden of obligation better helps me appreciate that time which is left for leisure. In the case of Oxford, our common travails made us better fellows – to one another at least. In such a case I wish not that the burden be lessened, but that time might be extended.
Extension – that seems to hit the ear a bit better. What do they say, ‘youth is wasted on the young’ or some such? I desire to be revisited by the thrill of such times and to have the energy to meet it well. This carries a certain desire that time might be modified, or at least that I might be, but in truth I can do little to affect the past in such manner. I return to Heraclitus too often, but I should note that while we never set foot in the same river twice, change is not so great that all is unrecognizable or that we always scramble to meet time well. What can be done but to seek opportunities to greet the present as we might such welcome scenes of the past?