Moving Beyond Time | May 2024

Moving Beyond Time | May 2024

Time is the horizontal dimension of life, the surface layer of reality. Then there is the vertical dimension of depth, accessible only through the portal of the present moment. — Eckhart Tolle

I first became intensely aware of this phenomena after listening to this conversation with Jenny Odell on the Emergence Magazine podcast. I was fascinated with the question Jenny asks, “What other kinds of time” and so began my journey with time this year… seeking what other kinds of time and especially vertical time! My main focus this year is to find the access point that takes me from the horizontal dimension of time… the time of the clock and the calendar to that magical moment when passing time seems to stand still!

I want to point out that this is not a moment where you think “will this day ever end” or “why is this day dragging on” or the “I’m so bored” moments but rather those moments where are no longer thinking of time… you are absorbed into the moment you are in and time fades from your mind.

One place that instantly finds vertical time, at least for me, is Presque Isle State Park… it is almost as if just entering begins to deconstruct time’s structure. But where else could I find that same phenomena?

I was fortunate to have LOTS of vertical time earlier this month when we were in Erie. But could I find pockets of vertical time at home?

I started from my “baseline” of seeking “vertical time” – meditation. Although when I began my meditation process a long time ago, I had not a thought of vertical time… rather, I wanted to find a way to find calm, to find quiet, to find a connection with myself. But years in, I am still not a meditation master… I can meditate for 15-ish minutes and then my brain is niggling me to “find something else to do.” And… in all honesty… I am well aware of the time passing as I meditate. This hurdle is why I began to include poetry and journaling to my meditation time and by making that change has moved my “meditation” time from the struggle to 15 minutes to something that is not a struggle at all… before I know it 30 to 45 minutes have ticked past without any awareness at all. A small pocket of vertical time in my day!

Of course, knitting can do this but perhaps not in the best way… as in I can completely tune out of everything when I am knitting… which is not always a good thing. Don’t ask me what we watched on TV (perhaps that is part of the problem, lol) and for sure don’t try and have an in-depth discussion with me! But what about spinning? In the course of my 100 Day project, I put away my spinning… but now that I am done, I think I need to get it back out because spinning is another one of those activities that melts time away… but I stay very engaged in the activity of spinning… and it absolutely has a meditative quality to it!

I mentioned poetry and writing already… but my “new-ish” habit of 15-ish minutes of drawing/painting is going quite well… I am blowing past those 15 minutes and before I know it time has “gotten away from me.” And I am having such fun… that seems to happen when I step through the vertical time portal!

But as I said… this concept was really the focus of my time study this year. I am excited to continue to look for pockets of vertical time in my day!

As always, I really appreciate Carolyn holding a space for us each month. Stop by and see where the other “worders” journeyed with their word this month!

See you all back here tomorrow with some Unraveling!

**Photo above by Mat Brown found on Pexels

A Study With Time | April 2024

A Study With Time | April 2024

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. — Earl Nightingale

One part of my Year of Time was to contemplate blocks of time and I felt like a 100 Day Project was a good thing for contemplation. So way back on January 19th I began a journey. For 100 days, I committed to stitching 15 minutes a day on a 7×5½” piece of fabric… 20-7×5½” pieces of fabric – to be exact.

I was leery of the time constraint … 15 minutes seemed like not enough. I had no idea what I would do. How it would go. But what did I have to lose… 15 minutes a day? Some scraps of fabric? A small investment for a time study.

And so I pulled out a few handfuls of fabric scraps… left over bits… unusable bits. Or so I thought. I am ever so grateful that past me did not just toss these bits!

And over the last 100 days I have discovered that 15 minutes can hold joy. It can help you focus! It can help you discover new ideas… in places you never imagined! Time helped me release every preconceived notion of what I thought… and showed me what could happen when you intentionally let those 15 minutes be all. And those 15 minutes each day… well they were so full! And in those 15 minutes I found an authenticity that I did not know I had… a creativity… a delight in not knowing what was next.

It has been the best use of 15 minutes ever… on any day!

I have “done” 100 day projects before but not one of those had the impact that this project has had for me. If you asked me before January 19th what 15 minutes could hold… I would have said not much. Now today… I can tell you that 15 minutes can be everything!

I don’t love every page… but I learned from them. I stopped “trying” and began just doing… and in that doing I found that those 15 minutes of time was perfect… the most creative minutes of the day. I spent just 15 minutes doing the actual stitching, but as I discovered that creative spark… I spent more time letting ideas simmer. And the ideas just kept coming… it was just so amazing!!

But on April 27 when I put the last stitches on that final page… my heart ached and I shed a few tears. I was not ready to “be done” at all. 100 days and I really felt like I was just beginning! I did not want to lose all that I had discovered. I really did not want to lose my creative momentum… and what stepped into the stitching space was a surprising delight!

On vacation I opened a small art journal I picked up and continued the 15 minute habit with pencil, pen, and sometimes water color paints. Who knew that I would ever consider 15 minutes to be the best minutes of any day… but friends, they are the most magical minutes of all!

How it started… the view from the kitchen window in our Airbnb.

And the apple tree blooming in the back yard.

And the start of one of our favorite paths at Presque Isle. (Excellent for bird watching!)

I am simply loving time this year… it was a brilliant word and I had no idea where it would take me!

I am late to join Carolyn’s link up… but sometimes vacation should just be vacation! (And vacation time… well, it is best if it is uninterrupted!)

See you all back here tomorrow with some Unraveling!


Circles of Time | March 2024

Circles of Time | March 2024

This month I have been spending much of my time contemplating the idea of “deep time” or perhaps the concept is better explained as circles of time. The idea, at least to me, seems a bit like the ripples created when you drop pebbles in a pool of water. The water ripples out further and further…and that place where those ripples interconnect… well, that is where time for me has gotten very interesting!

Rilke, of course, has give me some incredible inspiration… dear, dear Rilke.

Widening Circles

by Rainer Maria Rikle

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

Published in Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. (You can listen to Joanna read it here. Her voice and these words…perfection!)

And so I have been thinking about the circles of time in my life this month. I brought Andri Snær Magnason along with me as I have been reading his brilliant work, On Time and Water. He has provided volumes to think about in this small yet weighty book! I have been slowly savoring it. I have kept going back and rereading parts as I contemplate his thoughts and the circles of my life and the depths of time. As I ponder my circles, my children’s circles, my grandchildren’s and their children and grandchildren’s circles… will they have any time at all? All these thoughts on circles of time has made me think about how interconnected I am to the past, the present, and yes… especially to the future, because things I do today will absolutely send out a ripple.

I “give myself” gladly to the circle I am in… and whether I complete this circle or not, it will interconnect with another circle and so on and so on… for thousands of years. And I think that just might be the great song of my life.

And time is like an image painted half by water —— and half of it by me. — Steinn Steinarr

I would like to thank Carolyn for keeping a space for us to share our thoughts, our progress, our struggles, our hopes!

See you all back here on Wednesday.

Photo by Jakub Novacek


Self Time | February 2024

Self Time | February 2024

Self-care is not a waste of time. Self-care makes your use of time more sustainable. — Jackie Viramontez

I approached the concept of time a bit differently this month. I am not very good at the idea of “self-care” (as I think many women are…sigh.)

Every day this month, I have tried to spend at least fifteen minutes each day for myself. (The 15-minute block of time was the easiest thanks to my 100-day project.) But I wanted to do more than 15 minutes of stitching for myself.

Thanks to a scheduling issue, my “annual” physical was pushed back from January to the first of February which I thought was a great way to start the month with a self-care focus! This was just my second visit with my doctor… the first time was last January and I did not have a “good vibe” with him. I am happy to report that this visit was not that! He asked if I had any concerns… so I talked about my bouts with insomnia, the ever-present tinnitus, and my decreasing/diminishing hearing. He listened and helped me “make some plans” which I have been implementing all month long.

First up, he helped me realize that sleep should not be fleeting and insomnia does not need to be a.thing. “Make the bedroom a sanctuary,” was his suggestion and I worked on that! I started by getting some new sheets for the bed.  I also stopped reading in bed after “lights out,” which has had a dramatic impact on sleep. And he gave me some different ideas on how to deal with the tinnitus at night. Yes, I still had a few nights of insomnia… but I got out of bed, got a glass of water, and then sat up and read for a bit. Surprise, surprise… I soon found myself feeling tired enough to put the book down and go back to bed. He also suggested melatonin for the nights that I am really struggling but I have not had to take any… yet.

The second phase of my doctor visit begins this morning with my appointment with an ENT doctor. Goals for this appointment…discuss the tinnitus and the hearing loss. I will have a hearing test as well, and yes, I am a bit nervous. But I think no matter what the outcome of this appointment, by addressing these issues will result in a better quality of life!

I also had bloodwork done and it was fantastic! The Lipitor® is working fantastically! And my other numbers were not bad at all. Thank goodness for science because atorvastatin is one amazing little pill!

I got the RSV vaccine as well, and although I ran a low-grade fever for a couple of days after getting the “jab” I have another level of protection as I go about life!

I made an appointment for an eye exam… sadly, the actual appointment is not until next month. But living life with “readers” for “every vision” in every space has passed the frustrating mark… New glasses, yes please!

I still *need* to make an appointment to get my hair cut as well. This has been on my list all month and I have just been ignoring it. (In case you think I somehow achieved a perfect score in self care…) I don’t know why I am avoiding this perhaps a bit of not knowing what I want…But February is not yet over… there are a few days left this month to make that call!

Making yourself a priority is like sprinkling golden dust of richest blessings on your life. — Hiral Nagda

I also have been delighting in an extra poem (or two) with my morning meditation time. Nothing… and I mean absolutely nothing is better to begin a day than stopping and reading a poem. It changes the inside of me… in such a good way!

I also spent more time stitching… gosh, who knew that a needle, some thread, and a piece of linen could be a thing that saved my life this month! When my knitting just fell flat, I had stitching… when I needed a brief respite, I had stitching… when I had an idea to try “x”, I had stitching. And even if the idea did not work… often I found a different way to try something. (So yes, I am loving my daily stitching project. One small “stone” each day this month found its way into my heart and I have loved what I have learned!) I always knew making, in some form, was a good thing I did for myself and right now stitching is leading the way!

But perhaps the best thing I learned this month is that taking care of myself is the “golden dust of richest blessings…” Yes, yes!

And that is my month of “self care” perhaps I have set my feet on the path of being better about prioritizing myself.

A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing us all a landing space to talk about our words and how we interacted with them this month!

See you all back here on Wednesday!

A Timely Beginning | January 2024

A Timely Beginning | January 2024

A new year, a new month, a new word… (and at least one of these things is a very good thing!)

This month I spent my some of my time “unpacking time” a bit. I found that I had quite a few “boxes” to look through as this word began showing up for me last April! I am thankful to my previous self for setting aside so many of the pieces of time that crossed my path last year. I am finding them just as timely now as I did then… and I am ending the month having a new love for what one little word can do for me.

I started where I always start with a word… I turn to the dictionary and begin with the definitions of time. I have written down those definitions… Time as a noun and Time as a verb.

  • Time, noun: The indefinite continued process of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. (i.e.  my life)
  • Time, verb: plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done. (i.e. the time of my day)

And with those thoughts in mind, I focused on Jenny Odell’s delightful question:

“What other kinds of time? “

I started with Jenny’s thoughts on Chrónos (quantitative time) and Kairos (deep time). I went back and listened to Jenny’s conversation here about her book, Saving Time. I dug deeper into the idea of Chrónos [time, duration (taken from Merriam Webster)] and Kairos [Fullness of time; the propitious moment, especially for decision or action. (taken from the Oxford Dictionary)]. And Googling Chrónos and Kairos provided the most delightful rabbit hole… I spent a good bit of time wading around there!

I surprisingly stumbled across another delightful Time Rabbit Hole when I listened to a conversation with Paul Salopek. He introduced me to the idea of geological time… time in which we walk in the paths of ancestors. I loved, loved, loved this idea! And it made me think of all the things I do today… that have been done by thousands of people before me. I came up with quite a list… reading, knitting, sewing, cooking, cleaning… I mean… all of my day is spent doing things that others have done. This made me look at some of those things on my list in a new way. I can spend less time doing laundry than ancestors did… I have the benefit of having an automatic washer and dryer. Yes, I have to fill them… but  then I can walk away and do something else with my time. I am not spending my time beating clothes on a rock at a river… just saying.

Paul Salopek also talked about time connections… i.e. He noted that time connected to nature “slows down” versus time connected to cities, urban areas, and technology “sped up.” Jenny Odell talks about this as well but in terms “linear” and “vertical” time. Linear time being tied to work… and vertical time are those moments when time seems to stand still… which she noted most profoundly when she was out in nature!

In my Contemplation of Time this year… I want to reconsider the time of my day… or as Tolkien said:

All we I have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us me. 

I know one thing for sure… the amount of time I have left is decreasing daily and so I want to spend my time in better ways. I want to find more things that bring “vertical” time… those moments where I don’t feel the drag of time, but rather am lost from time.

And there you have my timely beginning… I am so excited to spend a year focused on time!

As always, I want to thank Carolyn for gathering us all together as we dig deep into our words! It is a delightful community of “worders” and I always learn something from all the participants!


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