A concept that dates back to the beginning of everything.
To the beginning of time itself, as one would say.
Ever since I was a little girl, the concept of time kept me wondering.
When someone I dearly loved would die, people would often tell me that “it has been their time to go”. Which I never quite understood.
I would visualise it for myself. We would all have some sort of… timer. It could be floating above us, or imprinted on our foreheads or such. No one would be able to see it, not even the person itself.
As I got older, I stuck with this… image that I had. That we all had a timer, and that some choices could effect that timer. If you were doing risky things and you weren’t being safe for example, you would have less time. If you would cross the street without looking, you would only have a few more minutes left on your timer, while if you would have looked and stopped, you might have had 30more years for example.
When I was a teen I fell in love with the music of the band Nickelback, especially with “savin’ me”. I loved the clip very much, because it does show how I’ve been looking at time almost my whole life. I’m sure that most people have seen the clip, but it shows my examples. In the clip, a young man gets saved from being hit by a bus by another man. From then on, he is able to see the time a person has left above their head. At one point -and this one really stuck with me- he sees an old woman being pushed into an ambulance, he sees her timer counting down until it reaches zero, meaning that she died…
I had a lot of people whom I loved dearly die… and had a very hard time coping with it. I couldn’t understand why they had to go. Why that young? Why like that?
I got more and more mad about it, upset. Bitter. I thought of time as a thief, something evil. Just like we often say ‘we have too little time’ ‘time is short’ ‘the hands of time stop for no one’ and so forth…
But a few months, around May 2016, my vision completely changed.
As a few of you might remember, I am a huge Alice in Wonderland addict. I collect tons of stuff about it and love love love the book(s) and the movies, especially the Tim Burton ones. So in May/June I went to see the latest movie ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet -shame on you by the way! 😉 – the story is that the Mad Hatter (played by Johnny Depp) is dying and all of his Underland friends are desperate, so they use the caterpillar to go and get Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) and bring her back. She is the only one that can save him, but to do so she must go back in time, using the chromosphere. A device owned by Time (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) that allows you to travel through the ‘sea of time’, and thus go back in time.
I won’t tell any more about the movie since I don’t want to spoil it and encourage everyone to go see it yourselves (it’s on dvd!).
In the movie, at some point Time says to Alice: “You might not change the past, but you might learn something from it.” which is very true , if you ask me.
I see it in my personal life everyday. People saying they don’t want to end up like their parents, dreading it, fearing it most of all, and then doing exactly that.
People dwelling on the past , a mistake I often made too, instead of looking forward and seeing the brand new chances that you get every day. Make the most of the time you have left, however little that may be.
But what truly changed my view about time is something that Alice says when she says goodbye to Time. In the beginning and throughout the movie, Alice often shows how much she dislikes time. That time is a thief, and a villain.
But after she meets Time in Underland, as a half man, half clock, she changes her mind.
So when she says goodbye to Time she says:
“I used to think Time was a thief, stealing everything I loved. But I see now that you give before you take. And every day is a gift. Every hour, every minute, every second.”
This part actually left me in tears… because throughout the whole movie I knew exactly what she felt, since she already lost her dad when she was younger and now facing the possibility of losing her dearest friend Hatter… I think that many people can relate.
A more recent movie about -among other things- time is “Collateral Beauty”, with Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, … a truly heartbreaking beautiful movie with a great cast. In this movie , Will Smith’s character is coping with the loss of his little girl, and his business partners and close friends are worrying about his wellbeing. They find out that Will Smith writes letters, to Time, Death and Love. The rest of the movie I won’t spoil.
It’s the principe. Imagine that just like Alice and Will Smith’s character you would be able to talk to Time, that it would be some sort of person. What would you say?
Would you assault him/her? Would you cry? Would you plead? Would you hug? Would you forgive?
I ask myself that question from time to time.
Would I be able to forgive Time for all the hurt he has caused by taking my loved ones so soon from me? Or would I thank him for all the beautiful moments I’ve had? The long friends, the lovers?
I think I will never really know, not until I would be face to face with Time itself.
Like I’ve said, Time has caused me quite a lot of pain, but I also had a lot of beautiful moments.
All I’ve learnt from those stories, those movies, … is that none of us know how much or how little time we have left in this life, so I try to make the most out of it. By doing what I always try to do: move forward.
Although sometimes I stop and take some time to reflect. Am I happy doing what I do? Do I still see my closest friends enough? Then after reflecting, I go back on moving forward. And if I am going through a though time I always remember the words “this too shall pass”.
Time is fluid, and vivid. It’s always moving.
So to all my lovelies:
Cherish your special moments.
Take them in.
And make the most of the time you have left, because none of us know how much time we have.