Efforts to understand a passage of time.

My cell phone rings, and my co-workers shout "She’s in labor!" but she isn’t, she’s calling to report on her acupuncture visit, the spicy meal she ate, the lack of news.  This is a strange period of time – it’s one of those times in your life where you know you’re in a countdown, where something is going to happen shortly that will be more than the usual – if big life events are the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another, this is moving from book two to book three.  It’s difficult to focus on anything, knowing that there’s this big event that could begin at any moment – could be starting right now, in fact – or could go another week, which is when the doctor intends to induce labor, if needed.  So many hours have passed since Monday, so many minutes that could have been When It Starts.  It reminds me of the Lydia Davis story "20 Sculptures in an Hour" from her new collection.  I don’t have it in front of me to quote directly, but this is from The Believer’s review:

Another story takes on the task of seeing twenty sculptures in one hour: the narrator wonders, at first, if three minutes is enough time to devote to an artwork, then, after executing some acrobatic logic, argues that three minutes is a long time—so long, in fact, it’s hard to imagine twenty three-minute periods fitting into a single hour.

That’s where my mind’s at.  There’s so little time left of this brief period of my life – being parent to one child – and yet, because there’s so many potential minutes and hours before it ends, it’s hard to imagine anything different ever coming about.

Others turn the refuse from the passage of time into art.  I like it:


3 Replies to “Efforts to understand a passage of time.”

  1. Good luck with the birth! My first son was due on June 27th (ten years ago) and was born on the 30th. I recommend raspberry leaf tea and a big loud stupid movie to get things moving. “Volcano” worked for us.

    Ten years. Hooly Mooly.

  2. Oh good luck to you and your wife as the birth approaches. Isn’t the waiting a bizarre thing? My sister-in-law drank lots of tonic water (quinine gets you started) and cleaned the bath. My husband jumped me up and down on the spot (quite a feat) singing ‘We’re going to have a baby!’. Both methods proved effective….

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