September 26, 2004

undo this

I was driving along with the top down (on the Blazer, silly) when I didn't catch what the NPR announcer just said. I found myself thinking, "not a problem I'll just rewind the TIVO"... Damn! You can't rewind radio. I've gotten so used to TIVO, stopping sports and rerunning each great play whenever I want to. Or hitting pause on TIVO to answer the phone before starting it up again. Or the other day, when I caught myself adding too much of an ingredient in what I was cooking, I heard myself think Ctrl Z (used to undo in Photoshop and most MS applications.). Augh!

Real life doesn't have undo commands and it doesn't conveniently pause and replay. While our memories can relive moments, it's not in super-slow-motion full-color replay. And you can't conveniently edit words said in haste or take back what happens. It's life full forward. There are no do-overs, but you can live more fully. You can't take back words, but you can think more about what you're about to say. You can treasure time -- past, present and not yet experienced. Time is not ours to shorten or lengthen -- but it IS ours to live out loud. Like I wrote in 1977 ...

Time passes
to ticking
seconds of the
alarm clock.

Present slides
past despite
timers and film.

Time strides on
never contained
by a minute
nor explained
by a hand --
illusive to all
but the memory
of the ones
who enjoyed it.

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