Time is a Living, Relative, Thing


Hubble image from space

Written by Ken Carman

The camera comes in for an incredibly close close up…

Our first fores into space were timid, hesitant ventures. There’s so much space out there: we are nothing in comparison. For a long time we thought our playground would be limited to a very small part of our spatial neighborhood, until we discovered the nodes.

Some explain them like empty space folding in upon itself. Does it hurt when that happens? Are we destroying: murdering, other forms of life we simply are unable to fathom? “Life” we are too intellectually dense to understand?

I do not know. Neither did professor Lymph when he discovered the only way. The only means by which we could escape what, at the time, we felt was a rather parochial part of the universe. Able to traverse large distances quickly by folding space, warping it… however we escaped home. Escaped home like a bratty 18 year old might stomp out of the house and stick out their thumb.

We learned to love home again when we discovered there’s a whole lot of empty out there, and a lot of danger. There are waves of energy, waves of what could be called sound… though we’ve been taught sound doesn’t travel in space. Yet you can almost hear it as the planets, the stars, the very fabric of space seems to shake apart with each wave.

The universe can be a poisonous place. Let a little in and a man, or woman, can turn cold, frozen, lifeless.

So, eventually, we long for home. We dream of home. But each time we returned it was never the same. Had home changed? Or had we? Probably both.

And, yes, there is life out here: life we didn’t recognize as life at first. White orbs that envelope and eat whole spaceships, for example. But we eventually conquered or learned to avoid them all as we spread ourselves over the few habitable planets. We thrive.

Scientists tell us the universe is expanding: expanding to the point where the universe itself will be so far apart it will be a dead, lifeless thing, A few say it might shrink again down to damn near nothing, then expand again.

Of course, by then, we’ll all be gone. Millions, most likely billions, maybe even trillion of years will have passed by. So what does it matter?

The camera pulls back, seemingly into infinity…

She was quiet. Very quiet. That means the visit to the doctor had gone poorly.

She’s my cousin. I take her places: she really can’t drive anymore, her husband left for another woman. She is so alone. I help her. Soon I will help her to the hospital and, I’m sure, I will help her when she’s gone by planning her service. We’ve already picked out a resting place. A stone.

When the specialist explained what was happening to her she did such a great job I suppose that’s why I have seen few tears, except my own in the mirror, in private, as I wash them off to face her again.

When the cancer entered your lymph node system that’s like the super highway of the human body. Though we’ll continue to fight it, the chances are slim: at best. It’s a matter of time, but also a time to make time matter. Treasure each second, though through the pain seconds sometimes may seem to last forever; lasting longer can be a beautiful thing. But for every moment you wish the time would come sooner: it will seem longer for every cancerous cell, microbe, nuclei in your body. You may have a year at best, but by the time time is over it will seem far too short time for you. Use it wisely, fondly: let the pain drive you on. And when you think it’s too long just remember: your revenge is that for the cancer it’s worse. For the cancer cells to end the pain it must seem millions of years.

I know that may seem harsh. It was actually a stranger, yet better, lecture than that. I can only paraphrase. But after that we both felt better, and have enjoyed what time is left more.

For time is a relative, living, thing.
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Copyright 2010
Ken Carman
all rights reserved