Okay, twenty five minutes to write something. Should be easy right?
One minute or so to come up with an idea - ugh excuse me while I remove my watch. I cannot type with it smashing the keyboard. Alright, it’s off. And my minute to come up with an idea has now passed. We are now into the second minute. Aghh! What do I write about??
Brain let’s go. Imagination you ready? And idea………..
A minute and a half has passed and no idea.
Is this what being a real writer is like? Minutes of nothing, empty days, dark weeks and then the flash of light?
How hard can it be to come up with a simple idea? Some straightforward concept that results in something at least partway legible in twenty five minutes. Easy. Or not.
Twenty two minutes to go. And nothing.
Maybe I could write about clouds - that’s what I can see out my window.
Or maybe I can write about tea, my cup of fruity rose green tea is getting cold beside me. Maybe I could write about cold green tea and how underrated it is?
Twenty one minutes to go.
This is still doable. I can still get something good done here. Just not on the clouds and the tea.
What about…deadlines. I can feel the weight of this one looming and there is still twenty minuets to go.
Maybe I can write about pressure and how self imposed or not, it has the ability to stagnate style and talent and thought processes. Maybe I can write about how putting yourself under pressure often result in spiels of nothingness. Incog=herant streams of though that make little to no sense, but at least all the words are spelt correctly - oops nope misspelt incoherent.
Eighteen minutes to go.
Who would have thought a simple writing task could be so destabilising?
Maybe I can write about time. Ticking clocks. The race against time. The way it slips away before your very eyes. The way it’s suddenly four pm and all you’ve managed to do is get out of bed. The way even the most perfect of to do lists can remain untouched and in pristine undone condition when time starts running.
The way that everything we do is tethered to time. The we schedule our lives into appointments. We check timetables and go to set classes. We have work rosters and tv guides.
How time becomes a gatekeeper. How time stops you doing the things you really want to do.
Time is freedom. Having time is freedom. Using your time in a way that works for you is freedom.
If someone else controls your time, if time is not a friend but a foe, if time is the enemy; are we not free?
Seconds tick over as I watch the clock. Moments disappearing down a blackhole that has no end. Time drips away like melting polar ice caps. Time disappears like socks in a washing machine. Time moves on like your cold hearted ex.
Tick tick tick.
I look at my to do list. Lines of scrawled handwriting that only I can decipher. And nothing is crossed off. I consider tacking ‘get up’ to the bottom just so I can cross something off the list.
Just thinking about time envelops me in a feeling of anxiousness.
I watch the cloak, mentally calculating all the things I could have achieved. All the tasks I could have crossed off my list. All the cups of tea I could have consumed while still at least lukewarm.
But still I sit paralysed by time. It marches on, it never stops. It doesn’t pass me by so much as drag me along with it. I have no control. I am not a part of my own movement. Time pulls me along, dragging me though minutes and hours and days and weeks. Time forces me through years and time piles memories and thoughts and feeling in my head.
Time seems to speed up as we get older. To do lists get longer, hours feel like minutes. Nothing gets crossed off.
Suddenly it’s April, then it’s October.
And then out of nowhere, after dragging you along with it, after forcing you to take step after step, after enforcing it’s will against your own until you are on your knees - time steps back. It slows. It allows you to consider your situation.
It lets you step outside and take it all in from another angle.
It gives you a respite that feels like gulping air after years spent holding your breath, your lungs burn.
Time says, ‘Here is your chance.’
Use me, drag me, squash me, pull me, abuse me and thrash me about. Take your freedom. Cross things off your list, drink your tea hot. Here.
For a second you can’t move. It’s too good to be true. It can’t be real.
Time is offering you the freedom that has eluded you your whole life.
Time is give you a opportunity.
It’s giving you a choice.
But can you take it? Can you use time, the way it has used you? Can you be the one doing the dragging? Can you?
Is freedom scarier then watching your time fritter away?
What happens when you cross everything off your list, what then?
What happens when all your cups of tea are hot?
What happens when you can do what you want?
What happens when time is no longer an excuse?