Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tempuffin Fugit


(Picture of the clock in my office – a touch of cabin fever, yeah?)

And fugit, it certainly does.

Today is a better day. Not great but better than yesterday. These forced stalls in life give one time to reflect.

For oh how time flies particularly as we get older. My father had warned me. The Da had cautioned us all of this speeding up thing. And accelerate it does. I can't even imagine what it must be like if one hits 80 when a year must seem like a day. Right now in this AD year of 2011, I misplaced February along the way and January seems like it never happened.

I recall with clarity the summer days of childhood, mostly on a strand in West Cork when it seems like our time there went by in slow motion. I can still smell the salt in the air and hear the slap of the make-do cricket bats (we used hurleys and sliotars) as we played endless games of rounders – a form of cricket. I could never get enough of it. In between we would practise the crawl in the ocean which was freezing cold, always, but we never complained. The one big expense my mother had in summer was making (she was a great hand at sewing) multiple togs (swimsuits) for each of her children as we lived on the strand and in the water for the summer.

Rainy days would last forever. The Da had to invent a game to keep us from going off our rockers. There was an oilcloth with a checkered pattern on the table in the kitchen and we would play push-the-penny as avidly as we played rounders. If you pushed the penny from the edge (using only one finger) into the centre of a square you kept it. These were the big old pennies and it had to land right in the centre of a square - which wasn't much bigger than the penny itself – for you to keep it.

In those dear dead days a penny was a fortune. It would buy 5 conversation pieces or a gob-stopper which lasted all day and we were forbidden to buy them as they could choke you. So we snuck them. All the time. 3 pennies would be a roll of gum drops or pastilles or a liquorice pipe.

Now ask me what I did yesterday.

17 comments:

  1. Yesterday, you thought about what to write today. And what a treat that is for all of us.

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  2. My memories of the past are not that clear to me, but I don't spend that much time thinking about them with much fondness. I spend more time in the here and now. What's past is past and I have a tendency not to look back. There's not much romance in it. I'm glad I am alive now and that it's all behind me. Nostalgia is lost on me. Maybe it would be too if you still lived in Ireland and closer to the source.

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  3. Thank you Marcia - though I am more immediate in my blog posts, as soon as I think of something I write!
    XO
    WWW

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  4. Nora:
    Oh I have a clear cold eye on my yesterdays, trust me.
    Fortunately I can separate the good stuff from the bad and there was more bad than good.
    I have written in other areas about the downside of my childhood.
    Rounders and push the penny were good memories for me.
    XO
    WWW

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  5. Simple fun, and we were happy. I loved rounders. On the long summer evenings some of the younger parents joined in the game. We had great fun.

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  6. I need not ask what you did yesterday, you told us what you were doing yesterday, and it does not bear repeating. Hope you are
    better today.
    I see sunshine today, and the snow is melting, say Amen, but say it quickly as spring is newly upon us.
    Helen

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  7. Aunti DisestablishmentarianWed Mar 02, 11:17:00 AM GMT-3:30

    The smaller you are, the slower time spins. Mosquitos live their entire lives in a few days. I remember being a young mosquito m'self and how endless boring school days or long car trips lasted.

    Even now time is not fixed, but it generally moves so fast it is impossible to get anything done! I hear you, WWW.

    Surprisingly, it is when I am stuck in a routine that time moves fastest. When I jump off that train, particularly if I go somewhere new for a day or a few, time slows way down while I see and experience new things. Helps recalibrate the time piece.

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  8. I wonder if it's really true any more that time flies by faster when you're older? Life today is so full of technological gadgets and amusements I imagine a lot of younger people would say time flies by as well.

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  9. Glad you're feeling better WWW.

    I wonder whether the illusion of time moving faster as we age stems from the fact that we've "seen it all before" dozens and dozens of times. The snow, the daffies in March, the wildflowers of May, the heat of August, the lovely autumns, and Christmas, New Year....we know almost exactly how they look and feel. Whereas in youth they were things to wonder about, try on for fit, etc. and when each came around they were explored slowly.

    Don't know. Just a thought.

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  10. GM:
    yes, all the parents joined in with us (except the mothers, how times have changed!).
    Simple times indeed.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Helen:
    Yes it is here today too, gorgeous gorgeous day.
    Much better I am!
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Aunti:
    You hit it right on the head there!
    New places draaaaw the time out beautifully!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Nick:
    And of course then again time is only a comfort invention of humankind.
    I think it still crawls for the young, at least the young I know!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. T:
    Interesting thought. I put the time thing down to impatience in the young, hardly waiting for the driver's licence or the first boyfriend and even Xmas. We try to slow it down.
    Must be an astrological theorem about this? :D
    XO
    WWW

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  15. Come and work at my place. It'll make your life seem twice as long. Trust me. Be more than happy to trade places. ;-)

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  16. I left that 9-5 thing waaaaaay behind me Laura, so no thanks.
    We need to make your job more interesting - maybe more poetry recesses?
    XO
    WWW

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  17. It's true. Time telescopes, swells and zips by. Childhood afternoons seemed to last a happy eternity sometimes, especially when spent outdoors.

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