Falling Forward

Sometimes, I think life is like stepping out of a craft in low Earth orbit. It takes a while for gravity to get a good hold on us, but the further we drop, the faster we fall. Years become like weeks. Weeks become like days. Days become like hours. Hours become like minutes. Minutes become like second. Seconds erode with each keystroke, step, and breath.

It's Fall, already. It's September. Summer is over. Television reigns. Heroes is back, and back strong, returning to the basics of ordinary people trying to live ordinary lives while possessing extraordinary abilities. It's a promising start. I can't believe how long the show has been on. I remember when it was new. I remember when Prison Break was new, but that show has run its course, and alumnus Robert Knepper is already imprinting his acting abilities on a new role in Heroes.

On the last day of Summer, as they always do, my company hosted an ice cream day. The first time I was there for one, it was simply a truck parked out front, and we could have anything we wanted for free. Last year they stepped it up, with servers in the cafeteria spooning out from giant cartoons while sprinkles, whipped cream, and other fixins awaited us nearby. This year they moved the whole thing out to the lawn, adding sherbet and fresh fruit along with even more ice cream flavors and toppings. It was obscene and awesome, and a welcome break. I'm in one of my busy times right now, when my regular workload is high and I'm tackling a few extra projects. It's a little crazier than I'd like, but I don't like the other extreme either, when I have nothing to do. I like to be just busy enough for the day to go fast, but not so busy that I have to stay late or work bleeds into my thoughts when I leave the building. I'm conscientious to a fault, and sometimes I work to the exclusion of the rest of my life.

It's interesting how we speed things along in life. Part of the falling metaphor involves natural gravity, forces acting on our perception which we can't control. But our brains have mechanisms to cope with boredom and difficult times. We can switch over to autopilot, becoming automatons in order to get through difficult or boring tasks. We seek entertainment to fill the time we aren't working, either physically or mentally. A game here. A show there. A book. A movie. We do everything we can to “pass the time”, and at some point we look back and ask, “Where did it all go?”

We're all falling forward to the future. Sometimes we can get a knuckle hold and slow things down, but the current eventually sweeps us away. Sometimes we lose our train of thought and switch to a raging river metaphor without realizing it. It happens. Remember when this was about jumping from space? Remember when you started reading this? Remember when my words had a point? I don't. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn.

I think I need to find a parachute.


Blogger Lorna said...

I was feeling a bit despressed there for a while...are those kids off the lawn yet?

9/22/2009 10:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home