Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Passage of Time

I recently attended my 10 year highschool reunion. Reflecting on how quickly the last decade vanished, prompted me to find this piece in one of my old gridbooks:

You start out a little kid for whom the world is an unfamiliar place, but after a while you get used to the world and even start to recognize it as your own. Change doesn't affect you at first. The old man who lived on the corner died and a year later someone tore down his house and put a gas station there. But that doesn't mean much to you. A thousand other unremarkable things change without causing any stir at all... until one day you wake up startled to realize that everything you once recognized is gone. It all left without you noticing.

Suddenly you recall that childhood fear of a world you don't recognize. You probably never gave the old man waving from his rocking chair on his porch more than a minute's thought in your whole life, but now you lie awake at night longing for him. And it's no use learning the new world, because you realize that things change too fast now.

The world hadn't seemed to change much at all until you start trying to hold on to things, then the more desperately you cling the faster everything you know flies away. It might be better just to stop worrying. Anyway you'll be gone soon too and your place will probably be replaced with a gas station.

3 comments:

JD said...

For the sake of truth in blogging I should point out this is not "about me." I am neither as sentimental about the passage of time nor as fatalistic. The piece is fiction, the narrative of a character in a story I never finished. The general sentiment, however, seems applicable to the situation.

amy said...

It occurred to me throughout this book that many of those involved in the actual owning of slaves or in the enforcement of slavery were "Christians." It is interesting that no where that I know in the Bible is slavery condemned, but is instead accepted as a part of life, just as it was here in the United States. I wonder how accurate the story was, so far as were there people like this, blacks who owned blacks? And why would a person purchase his or her own family and not then turn around and free them? Just some thoughts. Thanks for the recommendation, Jonathan. I read so many books, I'm always looking for the next good find.

JD said...

Amy's above comments were accidentally posted here. They are really in response to the "Known World" entry which you can read here.