A couple of weeks ago, I attended this conference aiming to explore the territories of time and temporality. Among the speakers were a college professor of sociology, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist specialised in end-of-life care, a writer, a journalist, a Buddhist monk, an Emeritus Research Director from the French National Center for Scientific Research whose research concerns cosmology and gravitation, astrophysics, theoretical physics, space and time… They all discussed time from the perspective of their own domain and it was fascinating.
In the end, their message was universal: the past is history, the future is expectations and fantasies, and only the present is truly with us, moment after moment, instant after instant. Of course, this is not to say that we should aspire to live without our memories and souvenirs or without dreams or projections. At the same time, living in the present does mean to try to leave aside all ruminations and endless thoughts about what has been and what could be and understand that we cannot live our life any other way than instant by instant, right here, right now, in this moment. We need to give back its value to time in order to be able to fully enjoy it. After all, what would be the point of killing time while at the same time waiting for it to kill us? Our own universe line is the conjunction of everything we have been through since our birth and everything that is still unknown and ahead of us. The present is the only fundamental that matters, the one that never lies, never gets old, never really goes away. It is the one anchor we can rely upon, moment after moment. It is the birthplace of opportunities, the moment in which everything can be sorted out and anything is possible. It is endlessly brand new and it continually renews itself so that to keep us walking on this path. The truth is we have no option: we all live and breathe in the present and the duration of time is fundamentally the same for every person that walks this planet. Which could be translated to a poetic truth: I am here, you are there; yet in this moment, we are fundamentally together! And the best way to fully enjoy this endless gift coming our way is to learn to really see what we are looking at, to really listen to what we are hearing, to really feel what we are touching, to really experience the smell of what surrounds us and to really taste it all. And most likely and most importantly, to follow our dreams and take a step in the direction of what truly inspires us in this moment. Because as the depositaries of this human existence, we all have access to this amazing ability and fundamental freedom to change our life, moment after moment, instant after instant, and it is our responsibility to step into actions and follow our dreams…
“Time is very slow for those who wait;
very fast for those who are scared;
very long for those who lament;
very short for those who celebrate;
but for those who love, time is eternal.”