Monday, August 02, 2010

Where Time Stands Still

A year ago, I was a different man.

I was in love and I discovered that what the poets and writers spoke of is true: there is nothing that compares to love. Those were the happiest days of my life.

There were moments when I wanted to freeze time, so that nothing would change anymore, so that our love would last forever.

In his book Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman conjures theoretical realms of time. In one of his worlds, there is a place where time stands still.

People journey there to freeze moments of their lives. There you will see parents laughing and smiling with their children, lovers locked in a passionate kiss. They sacrifice the future for the present.

Perhaps it is because we know things never stay the same. Children won't be children forever. They grow up, and sometimes they become rebellious and angry and spiteful. And parents wonder at night, where did my little boy go?

Lovers become unfaithful; we all know how love can be fleeting. Who can blame them for wanting to hold on to these precious moments of their lives? When everything is exactly where it is supposed to be.
"And at the place where time stands still, one sees lovers kissing in the shadows of buildings, in a frozen embrace that will never let go.

The loved one will never take his arms from where they are now, will never give back the bracelet of memories, will never journey far from his lover… will never fall in love with someone else, will never lose the passion of this instant in time."
It is very tempting. Who wouldn't want his happiness to last an eternity? Even if it comes at the cost of stopping time.

But some would say, "It is noble to live life, and without time, there is no life."

But then again, what use is life if it ends in sorrow?

I once visited the Grand Canyon with my family. It was winter and as I stood there freezing at the edge of the cliff looking at the intricate walls of the canyon, I thought to myself how strange that people travel so far to feel so small.

Billions of years have passed, and billions of people have lived and died and we are but just one more human life in this world. And all our hopes, dreams and sorrows have been repeated again and again throughout history. After all, what is one man's joy but a speck in time.

And a thousand years from now, no one will remember us. The ordinary lives we have lived. But perhaps it doesn't matter. Like those rocks that stood before me, perhaps our stories will live on.

One day in the future, some other boy will fall in love. Perhaps that boy will be me.

"Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late. If I'd live in another time or place... my story might have had a very different ending."
---2046 (2004)


red the mod said...

Memories are a curious thing. In that despite the cudgels of pain that fate throws our way, we look to our memories to remind us that it still is possible. To love, and to be loved in return. Last year it happened for you, sometime ago it happened to me.

The beauty of time is that its passing, and by its passing we are afforded that hope that maybe, tomorrow or in the near future, it will be our time again.

So we continue on.

rudeboy said...

I've often wondered about eternal happiness, Kane. Our supposed reward for living a "good" life, for following the rules, for sticking to the straight and narrow.

But then I think: eternity is such an awfully long time.

Beautiful, thought-provoking piece.

narnian said...

another thought provoking post. Good one kane.

I haven't been around the world, but I've been to some places. And every time, I never fail to feel small when I'm confronted by tall buildings in a first world country or ancient structures from world heritage sites.

and though the world almost always makes me feel small, I can't help but feel that my presence in this world has changed it. that my tiny speck mattered.

My wish for you is to find that one person who will be truly grateful and happy that you are in the world even though you are just another human life in earth's long history.

E said...

Tangina ang ganda!!! ano ba meron ngayon? si Mugen, si guyrony, si soltero tapos ikaw naman! sheeett!!

drew said...

I am inclined to agree with Heidegger, or at least what I understand of his philosophy: that time is a dimension of experience. What is it like to be forever in the rapture of a lover's embrace? I think there is no joy in it, nor hope.

Yas Jayson said...

'The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.'
-hector, history boys

well, except that you are a person i have met. :D

memory and our desire to be remembered are powerful. i think that is why we blog, create monuments, write on stones and papyrus, take thousands of photographs and record videos. remembering is something that makes our existence more sublime, much anticipative.

this post is masterfully emotional. very human. all too human.

there are only a handful of blog posts that would hit me home. this one brings me closer definitely to my home, to my heart.

blog on.

little brother,

orallyours said...

ohh but eternal happiness might put one in a state of delirium.
thought provoking indeed.
lovely post
lovelier pic

Guyrony said...

Wonderfully written dear K.

It struck me to a deeper level.

For love can supply enough power for a person to go on provided that the significant one is present.

But alas, when one heart breaks, it won't be too long before the cycle begins again.

Nevertheless time can be synonymous with hope, for every passing minute, who knows? Someone valiant noble and gallant enough might be sweeping you off your feet.

Fear not.

Nimmy said...

nasabi na nilang lahat! eto na lang. PAK NA PAK NA PAK NA PAK NA PAK!

may macomment lang. :)

Alterjon said...

A push from the cosmos would help, if only it’d be real. It’s amusing the world is equalized as we all wait for unusual coincidences to take place.

Stranded in time, waiting to be washed ashore.


Fickle Cattle said...

I've always thought that the fact that something is fleeting is what gives that thing value. I wrote this a long time ago:

The ephemeral quality of a thing is what gives it importance. To ascribe permanence to something only serves to belittle the possibility of greatness in smallness.

Same with life I think. And love. The idea that it can be lost makes it all the more valuable.

Rashpreet said...

That was lovely piece...i guess we all have been through a time, a moment when we felt that this is it...this is the pinnacle...this is where I always want to be...this is how I always want to be....but emotions and feelings are all transient which when they change, change the whole dynamics of our relationship with others as well as ourselves...people say this is what life is all about...this is called growing up....but sometimes i feel "what the heck....I'd rather be a moron than grow up this way... ".

♥N said...

People journey to those moments in their life where they wanted time to stand still - I do it because whenever I am going through a difficult time, it is those memories of a happier time that help me through the dark days of my life. Even in just remembering, I feel better, and can almost re-live those moments that are gone and past.

What use is life if it ends in sorrow? Because lives are about the journey, and not the destination. ♥

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

love is fundamentally an internal phenomenon. a lover may become unfaithful but only because no human can maintain inhuman fidelity to our internal symbol of the lover.

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

The first part reminds me of Wong Kar Wai's 2046 where (I'm sure you've seen it) people go to some magical place where nothing ever changes. There have been times when I wanted to take the same train but I know now that that would be stupid. I wouldn't be the person I am now if it weren't for time and how it often moves without me.

"One day in the future, some other boy will fall in love. Perhaps that boy will be me."

I join you in this wish. The boy is still there, me thinks. Just need to do a little digging.

czar said...

that little boy will be you in due time... for love is love when it persist to exist, changing yet enduring=)

Manech said...

I love Einstein's Dreams (too). If I could remain inside any book, it'd be my first pick. Imagine: the freedom to choose other possibilities of time. How very liberating.

Though, on second thought, maybe I don't really need to have it any other way. The irrevocability of time makes living more sacred, loving all the more immediate and necessary.

Lovely, lovely post.

Dan Reyes said...

all those tiny stardust
all those fleeting rocks in voids of space
all the blood that rushes to and fro

all of them

will one day stop
and people see gore in the word stop

yet it is the finiteness that give everything sense

well written... Nice nice Kane.

you make me fall in love hahaha

michelle said...

I love and hate your writing, kane. Love it because it's beautiful. Hate it because it's beautiful. Beautiful that all the emotions I was trying so hard to keep inside to avoid disrupting my busy work schedule suddenly become difficult to contain. Suddenly, they all want to burst out. And I hate, hate (and love) you for that. You are one of those writers "who make people want to care" (quoting from your other entry).

Now for my comment. Perhaps the very reason why time cannot be frozen is because happiness too can be boring. As the cliche says, we need sorrow once in a while to recognize and appreciate joy.

You ask what life is for if it ends in sorrow anyway. Well, I guess, for some people the ending is not really an issue. Whether life ends in bliss or tragedy doesn't matter. What matters is that once, twice, or thrice in their lives they experienced happiness. That alone -- a set of temporary yet happy moments -- makes life meaningful and worth living.

parteeboi said...

and your name then will be Maruja. :)

RC said...

Hey k! ang gandaaa! reading your entry in a cold, rainy night, made me feel like time suddenly froze to a place where my heart is happiest.

Cheers to the boy who cried love!

Boying Opaw said...

yung picture, i like...

Anonymous said...

every single one of us have our own times. if we try to stop our time ,people around us,our love,would also also could straightly stare into their mesmerizing eyes,feel their breasts and kiss their sweet's alright.they won't resist because they wouldn't know.but it'll be the saddest thing.better receive a fistful smack on the face than having a one-way won't have him.even if you can stop time.i would freeze it for you when i already finished my time machine project,but you'd still feel lonely in the end.when you realized..when you felt that he's not glaring back,feeling your hands and rubbing his lips on yours.yours will feel more hunger.
the fuck who says love is forever?do not mistake forever and love are really intertwined with each other.they are not.even when the other died physically during would still go away.prisoning oneself doesn't mean lasting love.when you go out i am sure you'd find love.. go out, will find love.stop being a prisoner of someone who already found another love.

Shane said...

I am speechless and moved. Genuinely.