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Saturday, 15 August 2009

18 Months

The way we measure life. The way we pass our days. The constant references to time that color our speech and make up the pattern of our conversation. We can not cope without it. We can not live in the present...we wait endlessly for days that come and then are over in a flash; we live through days that no one else even suspects the value of but ourselves...if even ourselves.

The following is a verse from P. B Shelley's poem "Mutability", it has always been one of my favorite verses. Those words are so beautiful and the very reason for their beauty lies in the acknowledgment of how finite our lives are, how brief our time is, whether we live to be 95, it probably never seems long enough to have done and loved and experienced all we wanted to.

"The flower that smiles today
Tomorrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world's delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright."

Though I have almost never worn a watch in my life aside from when I lived in Germany (where the importance of time takes on a whole other dimension ;) and occasionally when I work, I also measure moments and months...

...The next time I go home to Canada, I will have been away from home for three years and seven Christmases. I have known my husband for 10 years now and been married to him for 5 in October. It has been 10 years since I was a carefree 18 year old spending my months backpacking in what was then, far, far away Scandinavia and I live here, funny how life works out.:) It has been 18 months since Per and I began the adoption process.

Those are the bare bones. Minutes, months and years. They tell you nothing really. But they are my measures. They shape me. Each of those periods of time is filled almost to the bursting point with various emotions and experiences...happiness, excitement, discovery, growth, trials, pain, struggle, love, understanding, questioning, confusion, darkness, light and during these times I have been everything: brave, foolish, funny, wise, cutting, unkind, fearful, loving, compassionate, ignorant, miserable, thoughtful and thoughtless...

But we all have our measures, our own months and years. And we all know nothing about one another.


SB said...

You got such a wonderful way with words.

Colleen said...

Thanks Sesselja.:) That's nice to hear.

jjdelta said...

Colleen that was absolutely beautiful! I agree with Sesselja, you have an incredible way with words!

But I must say that I don't agree with your statement... your measures of time do tell a lot about you and who you are. The fact that you have counted being away for 7 Christmases shows us that you are a family person - that is an important number and occasion to you. The fact that you mentioned backpacking shows that you are an adventurous person. You pursue different things, you search out different cultures and ultimately you settled in what was different. This shows us also that you live out of the box and that you are not confined like by it. The fact that you don't wear a watch also shows us that you are a little carefree but you respect others because you wore a watch for the those to whom it was important.

All things that you mention are important to you hence all things that you mention tell us about who you are and what you love... :o)

I love you Colleen, you are an incredible person. I love the way you write, the way you are able to express yourself so beautifully with words. You are one of the most deep thinkers that I know and I love you for it :o)

Miss you girl!

Colleen said...

Thank you for the compliments Janet!

I stand by my thoughts that the measures don't always tell much about a person without background knowledge. For example a person could say they haven't been home for 7 Christmases and not care because they may not be that close to their family, they may not be on speaking terms, they may come from a bad home...etc. You deduce all of what you said correctly of course, I do love my family and am a family person and the other things you said but I feel that those conclusions are reached largely because you know me like a sister does. You know these things from experience.

Of course if you didn't, you could assume all of those things but when you don't actually know, those assumptions can be wrong and that's what I am talking about. The people who assume (quite wrongly for the most part) that they know who you truly are based on your facebook staus for example. (We are probably all guilty of this at times.;) But that's more what I mean, people who don't know you, but think they do because they judge what they read about you and determine who they think you are without ever bothering to find out the truth. This is what I feel the downside of Facebook, MSN, etc., is.

There definately are people who know me well and who read all the right meanings into things based on well rounded experience and then there are those who only want to assume they do. It's the same for everyone.

Love you too Girl!!:)

jjdelta said...

OK I see what you're saying but at the same time a person that doesn't care about his/her family would not necessarily mention that they haven't been home for 7 years... that might not even make it on their list as they wouldn't care. The things that get onto people's lists like that are usually things they care about.

I don't know...

I think you can tell a lot about a person by what they write. Words are an outpouring of ones heart and feelings. So if a person writes about their travels that's part of their passions, or at least, an important one to them. If they write about their family that's also something that is important to them. People don't tend to write about things that don't touch them... if a person has a bad relationship with their family they might not write about them or if they did they might write about it in a bad way... still showing they care because they care enough to write about it.

But at the same time a person can choose what they write about and choose the way they portray themselves to the world... so you might be write, I mean right :op But to know that for sure, one would have to know the writer... so... I stand corrected :o)

jjdelta said...

I love our verbal combats! :o)

It's just so refreshing to talk, write and debate with a person that is on the exact same page as I am :op