The passage of time

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Dear Editor: I would like to touch upon one of the fascinating and fundamental aspects of human life — time and its unending passage. Some of what I have to say, readers may have read before, but I hope to be as fresh and as vital as possible for you.

  Several years ago, I wrote that the more distant an event is in time, the more pathetically fleeting and melancholically evanescent I tend to view it. I used to become somewhat pessimistic and unsettled about time, because I would think things like, say, that the happenings that earlier materialized and the life choices I made when I was a child were of no consequence in the present, and that similar events in the present would seem as short-lived and as insignificant when the future arrived.

I got to thinking about this matter a lot over the past few years, and I have come to the changed conclusion that because of the essential nature of the space-time continuum that contains our lives, it is entirely possible that all doings in our lives are naturally and immutably interconnected.

For example, if I had given in to Mother and worn short pants as a six-year-old, I could have attracted a child molester, which would have radically altered my emotional and mental health for a long time.

Also, if I had not entered a certain store in 1952, for example, where a man give me a dime for the movies, I might never have gotten to talking about the movie with a prospective wife who had also seen it.

And, if I had not happened to begin playing ball in a neighbour’s back yard when I was eight or nine years old, I might never have developed my great interest in baseball, and that would have had a major effect on how I lived my adult life in many respects.

So I believe that we neglect at our peril the fact that the present, future and past are intrinsically interrelated and that we should think deeply about  how this basis of human life inescapably shapes the nature of our world.

Speaking of time, I would like to quote once again a passage from my favourite book, “The Challenge of the Passing Years.” In this work, the famous social and political scientist, R.M. MacIver, writes about death and its most important effects on our lives.

He says “For the living themselves, beyond all the fears that the thought of death inspires, the cutting short of all that they would still live for, there lies the consolation of an ending that is surcease from pain and puts the quietus on all their troubles. Thus death is frequently conceived of as the final home-coming, the settlement of all accounts, or the port after stormy seas in which all voyaging ends.”

Seldom have I seen the fact of human mortality described with such beautiful succinctness and cogency.

I noticed recently that one of my letters published in The Western Star, is now available online. That article is the one about how the White House in Corner Brook acted as a powerful magnet for the city’s youth in the 1960s and 70s. My speech therapist thought that my essay was “wonderful and amazing.” Too bad she doesn’t work for The Western Star, she would do all in her power to give me a six-figure income for my writing.

Lloyd Bonnell, Corner Brook

Organizations: Dear Editor

Geographic location: Western Star, Corner Brook

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