Time is Poison
I used to take a yoga class where the instructor would end each session by reading a poem during suvasna. I have come to learn that this is pretty standard practice in the yoga circles I’ve participated in. After an hour or so of intensive stretching and focusing on your breath, the instructor uses the quiet time at the end to imbue some wisdom that will hopefully be relevant to the day’s practice and resonate enough with us to return to the next class seeking some deeper meaning to life in our fairly boring american lifestyles.
This particular day the instructor in her low, measured voice said “time is poison”. I can’t remember the rest but it was something to the effect that our society’s obsessional relationship with time, youth, age, efficiency, and the like was killing our bodies and souls. We focus so much on the fleeting nature of time that we forgot to exist in the moment, to truly be present while also looking and working towards the future.
Time is a thief, or more appropriately, the singular focus on time is a thief.
I find myself thinking about this phrase often, especially when hungover and obsessing about the time I’m missing being so uncomfortable or fuzzy around the edges. One form of poison has me wallowing in another. The fear of losing time becomes especially acute when your not in a position to do anything about it. Sick on the couch with a mind that can’t focus and a stomach that is threatening to revolt even though you need to be at work in few hours.
It’s those days (and there have been more of them than I’m comfortable admitting even in the middle of this project) that my hypervigilance of my own age, body, and place becomes almost unbearable. All of the implied societal pressure about youth, genius, beauty, accomplishments, etc come rushing in. The worthlessness follows. Then hopelessness and depression. Rinse. Repeat.