william faulkner once said “clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” it’s so easy to think of time as a machine, that keeps producing minutes and hours and days and years at peak efficiency. when we stop imposing this mechanistic model of time onto time, and just let it hang suspended, floating, within the short duration of our lives, doesn’t it serve us better? time, as interconnected with change, is something that people like to make their enemy because it can’t be controlled or contained, but time is often such a beautiful gift, is it not?
exactly a year ago, i was in south africa. at the risk of sounding cliche, it really feels like yesterday that i was arriving in cape town, my first time off the continent, and experiencing an entirely new world. there was so much unknown at that point, so much that would happen in the following twelve months that i could never have guessed would happen: having trysts with two south africans and an american while studying abroad, returning home to an grotesquely unfamiliar life in georgia, getting over my first love that i thought i’d never be able to let go of, cultivating an entirely new circle of friends, living to see my twenty-first birthday, finding the balls to cut all of my hair off, deciding to graduate early, quitting smoking and taking up running again, finding the man i’m going to love for the rest of my life. so much has changed in the past year, and yet, i am still myself and there is so much time for me to experience that will bring even more changes that i can’t foresee. it’s frightening, but it’s also kind of freeing to not be a slave of time, but a friend of time; to let it pass unfettered and to look back on it in amazement, to appreciate what time does to people and places and ideas, and to be at peace with the fact that it is its own entity that is free of human control.