I was in the eighth grade the first time I remember being philosophical. I had been experimenting with marijuana, and for the first time in my young life, I felt that there was more to my life than what I saw. I was exploring music by The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. I know it seems cliché now, but at the time I felt like I was a unique explorer of the universe as I sat in my room with Pink Floyd blasting into my headphones.
It’s this connection with that time in my life that makes me enjoy teaching eighth grade so much. I can see my students also questioning their environment. Everything seems so new and the possibilities are endless. This week’s Poetry Thursday prompt was to write about time. And since I have been writing poems every week, I thought I would do a brief review or look at the song Time by Pink Floyd as a tribute to the early development of my consciousness.
From the opening alarm bells to the subsequent heartbeat metronome the song sets the stage for a journey. At that is what the song really is, a journey. It explains the futility of time and our trip through it. At that young age, I began to see that life was heading toward an end, and that each moment needed to be savored, or else I would spend my old age filled with regret. I listened to the stories of the character in the song and promised myself that I would never be like him. I would never allow time to pass me by. I made a promise at thirteen to always be conscious of the present.
Let’s look at the song stanza by stanza:
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
I felt such a sense of disdain for anyone who would waste time. I learned early on that there would be no one to ,show me the way.The path was there for me to find on my own. I had a few average teachers, and my parents were there for me, but I understood early on that the way, or answers are not given or explained- they are discovered, and it is the search for answers that gives meaning to life.
Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
I was terrified of this stanza, so I assumed that the starting gun had been fired. I was not about to miss it. Ten years were not going to go by without me being aware of them.
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
This was some deep shit for a thirteen year old. Adulthood was nothing more than a road to death? Holy shit! I think this verse is followed by one of the best guitar solos ever recorded. At this point, I would take a break and imagine myself on a stage shredding each note, as millions of lighters flickered.
Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say
I can see now that this really is a hopeless song. As I became older the line, “Plans that either come to nought, Or half a page of scribbled lines,” took on a much more grave meaning, but at the time I saw those words as a stern warning.
Then the song moves into Breathe…
As an adult I still really enjoy this song, and I realize the importance of the lessons it provided me. I feel that I “did it right.” I hope that I have lived, or I should say, I am living my life fully and in the present. I realize that life is short and that we only have a certain amount of time here on earth. So I try to make the most of the time I do have. I have also learned from my Zen readings not to believe that death ends time. I released myself from the cycle of Birth and Death, and when this happens time becomes much less frightening. The universe is really void of time; we simply apply time to our lives to help fathom the timeliness of the present.
Anyway these were my thoughts on the subject of time. I suppose now that my daughter has been born, and seeing her change every day, time will take on a new role.