The mind is a flutter today. It is swarming with thoughts from Elon Musk’s automations, to the West Side Story, and back again, to the wholesome goodness of Strawberry Pop-Tarts, which I barely remember tasting.
And then, over to Facebook. You see a lot on FB, on any given day. That is the point of it, really. The past few days, I’ve noticed that several of my friends have had to attend funerals. I’ve also viewed cookie-baking, puppy-antics, basketball games, political mayhem, and various birthday celebrations. It runs the full spectrum of life. Zuckerberg laid out the blueprint and we keep building the stories.
One thing, I always do on FB, is give out a Happy Birthday Wish. Right now, I think I have 842 FB friends. A good even number. However. I am telling you this very minute, I can’t possibly know 842 people. But there we are. And, no matter who it is, I scribe up a goofy birthday wish and post it on their wall when they turn a year older. Yesterday, was no different. I had five birthdays come up.
One of those was for an old childhood friend. We grew up on Bruce Avenue together. We were only “good” friends for a couple of years. One of my first friends, actually. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, and could start exploring out on my own. An early pal.
Of course, like all other FB Friends, I posted a sparkling birthday wish on her wall. Late last night, someone sent me a Personal Message. Another old friend from that era. And he informed me that she had passed away two years ago. This, obviously, was news to me.
I am not sure why this has bothered me so. Our lives are filled with comings and goings. Wins and losses. Here’s and Gone’s. And I had not seen her in almost 40 years. And our friendship was brief. But learning of her death, in delay, troubled me.
We exist, is what we humans do. And along the way, we experience. What I was when I was seven years old, I am not now. But it is a part of me. My seven-year-old self, is still in there somewhere, hanging out with my 34 year-old self. And all the rest of me’s. They are in there, having one big old cocktail party, chatting it up, and I don’t even drink.
But there they are. And every once in a while, the 16-year-old self comes forward and says, “Remember the third mushroom power-up in Super Mario Brothers?” Or, 21-year-old self will say, “How about that night you broke into the Kappa Kappa Gamma House?” And something about when I was 38, will urge me to pick the orange one, and not the red one. All the busy past-me’s, present and accounted for. Even still, I have trouble seeing the future me’s.
It is that grand illusion of time, pressing down on us. Wearing us thin. Or making us large, and robust. Rolling us there, or there. Einstein said it. Time is an Illusion.
Time is relative. It is only considerable in proportion to something else. It is flexible and malleable. It is a fine little line that divides the past, present, and future. We can’t really even put our finger on a “now” because it passes so quickly, on to the next. A succession. Until, for our current awareness, it stops.
All in motion. It passes us by. It comes again.
So there we all go and move and proceed. All of us.
And my mind is a flutter with thoughts of Elon Musk cars, and slightly toasted Pop-Tarts, and Bernardo, kicking his heels, in the streets of West Side Story.
“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”
― John Guare, Landscape of the Body
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“It’s the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook