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High Points: Time passages

Paul E. Anna
High Points

Since it’s Friday, June 3, there is another First Friday celebration in Carbondale tonight. Now I love these events, but doesn’t it seem like we just had a First Friday last week? Actually, it was last month, on May 6, that ‘Bonedale hosted the valley, but it sure seems like last week — or maybe even yesterday.

That’s the thing about time. It just races. Or not.

I have been befuddled my entire life about how something that is so consistent in its very being as time can be so inconsistent in the way it feels. I get it. 24/7/365. Sixty seconds is a minute, 60 minutes is an hour and there are 24 of those each day. And, with every four-year exception, there are 365 days in a year. So how come a day can feel like a year and lifetime can feel like it came and went in a moment? It just confounds me.



Take two minutes, for example. If I am running as fast as I can round a track, I may make it by the time the 120 seconds are up. But it feels like it is taking forever. But if I am doing something a bit more pleasurable, 120 seconds goes by in a heartbeat.

And it’s not just the two-minute drill. What the hell happened to the last two decades? A decade is supposed to be a long time, but I look back at the last one and it came and went before I even knew what was going on. In my mind there are things that should be exactly as they were in 2002. And in 2022 they are 20 years older. How the hell did that happen? Living at 8,500 feet, things “progress,” i.e., they get older and faster, than they would at, say, 1,000 feet. You can see it on the buildings and the way the color of your car loses its luster. Or in the way your hair thins or your neck sags.




I know it is a function of age, but again, when the hell did that happen? I mean, it was only yesterday that …

I was at an event this past week to honor an older friend and I had not seen most of the people in attendance in at least two years. Two years that seemed like forever and two years that went by like a New York minute, depending upon how you look at it. Everyone looked a little older and everyone had stories to tell about the passage of time over the last 24 months since we had been together. That’s the thing, nobody ever gets younger.

I think the COVID years affected us all the same. It was like time stopped except for the aging. The best part of the evening was seeing friends for the first time in a while and hearing some old stories that sounded new all over again. It seemed I was not the only one befuddled.

I’ll look for you at First Friday. In July. I’ll be the guy not wearing a watch.