Time for time

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Make a wish ...

Make a wish …

Recently, Stephen and I crossed the seventy five miles that separate us from the time and place we first met. Our daughter travelled with us and listened to stories from memory lane that still hold her parents spellbound more than they will ever bind her; tales of this-is-where-I-first-realised-I-loved-your-dad, that’s-the-house-I-almost-bought, that’s-where … used-to-be. And, as we slipped back in time, I realised that my daughter is exactly the same age now as I was when I left that faraway land of life-with-more-living-ahead-than-already-lived.

Why is it that rememberings of hours-already-passed stir our souls with more power than any of the minutes our futures may hold? Perhaps because memories hold the plotlines of the lives we have lived. And there is not a storyteller alive who can predict how the tales of our present will unfold. Not one of us knows whether the last time we shared a glass of wine with a friend, the last time we rode a carousel, was actually the very last time. I heard a song on the radio the other day which reminded me of one such last time, a sultry August Saturday at Knebworth where Stephen and I spent our first anniversary weekend as spectators at the last ever performance of Queen with Freddie Mercury fronting the band. I had never experienced anything like it before, nor since, and just the timbre of Freddie Mercury’s voice is enough to sweep away all the moments that have ticked and tocked my youth into the past, the moments that have brought me from a wrinkle-free present into the future that turns out was always the present.

We might wish for a magic door that takes us back to where we have already been, we may long for an enchanted window whose view overlooks the landscape of a future not yet spoiled by the mistakes we haven’t yet made. We may even dream of a button that suspends the present so that we can savour the moment just a little longer. But time is a gift we breathe moment by moment, it is a gift that cannot be exchanged or returned. We cannot hold time, or save it up for later or bank it somewhere that has a great interest rate. It is a gift that I become more grateful for every single day.

Over the next few weeks, the present will slip into the realm of memories as I take a holiday for a few weeks and begin in earnest the novel I have been researching and plotting these past months. My blogging voice will grow quiet for a time, but for anyone who is interested in occasional updates on my progress, you will be able to stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

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11 thoughts on “Time for time

  1. I wish you well with your creative process Julia. Be true to you. Lovely songs, all favorites of mine. Time indeed. Forward, back, or overlapping, it is enigmatic and elusive. The only real moment is the one you are in right now. Make the most of it! 🙂

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  2. As I get older, memories become more fun to recall, and our past experiences helps us deal with the present and create our futures. I’m looking forward to your up-coming book. May the creative and productive processes combine to make it all happen they way you want it to be.

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  3. My dearest Julia, you write with such beautiful poignance and emotion. I am so very thankful for the time we have spent together these past few days. Thankful too that time and memories can be relished and treasured, taken out and pondered upon and still have power to bring forth emotions. These precious ones we have shared together are going to be tucked away inside my heart to be treasured for future days.
    Praying that your holiday is just that. An extended time of rest and relaxation. And a time when you can create some more memories to store in your treasure box. Xxx

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  4. Julia my friend, this is one of the most poignant posts I think I’ve read in my couple of years blogging. I wish you well, the best in fact, on your physical and psychological journey. Saturate yourself in your subject and become one with it. Enjoy yourself and those around you will enjoy it with you.
    I published my third novel a couple of days ago; ‘Amsterdam Calling’, and in a few days I’m about to embark on a journey not unlike yours (at least mentally). I wrote my autobiography (badly), a few years ago, but I am about to use the next (fifth) draft, to build a fictional story out of it. A great deal of the story will be memories, and many of them are treasures to me.
    Don’t go anywhere, be it away for the day, or out for a meal, without your notebook and pen. A memory or a moment of inspiration can be lost after a few seconds, and you need every one of them. I’ll keep watching for you on the web. x

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  5. I too have a novel in the works demanding my attention, Julia, so I won’t be posting as much as before. But I will put something up from time to time so no one forgets me completely. And like Stephen said above, I’ll drop in on you from time to time in Tweetland. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the days were longer so we could squeeze in everything we wanted to do? If I just didn’t have to sleep…. 🙂

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  6. Hope you have a fruitful and enjoyable break, Julia. Good luck with your writing. We’ve just been away for a couple of weeks and so I’ve had the chance to mull over a couple of new ideas. Will look forward to hearing from you when you’re next ready to post. x

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