Time is Not Forever

We old guys spend a lot of time bouncing from youth to the present, a condition of advancing years, as E.B. White (of Charlotte’s Web fame) called it. Down deep I know I’m going to die and down deep I also know I’m the only creature whom this inevitable truth will pass over.

Maybe all humans imagine they’ll never die. It’s a subject that comes up again and again with friends and in my reading.

The words and images that follow are from a photo essay that appeared on the PopChassid blog by Elad Nahorai and give the lie to any fantasies on the subject of how aging and death will not come to us all. Both text and images speak frankly, but also with a hint of humor. Our own Third Act photographer Grier Horner wrote in to say the images were both “hilarious and poignant.”

Are they at all helpful to you in coming to terms with the Reaper, or would you rather not look? My dad used to say that there is beauty in everything; can you see the beauty here? Your insights might prove to be very helpful to the rest of us, so please pass them along.  

I think most people imagine that the world will never change.  We see old people and imagine they were always old.  We see children and imagine that they will always be full of cherub-like innocence and beauty. And that’s for a good reason, to an extent.  We need to live in the present, right?  Need to be focused on what’s in front of us, on doing what we do. But there’s a danger to all this “the present is forever” thinking.  When we forget that we’re going to age, that we are aging, then it’s easy to just go about our day-to-day lives without urgency.  It’s why, I think, so many people are willing to spend their time watching the Kardashians, doing drugs, eating unhealthy, etc., etc.  There are so many things we do because we imagine that time is forever.  Because we imagine that we could always do it one day. And most of all, we like to imagine that we will never die. That life will never end. That what’s happening right now is just an ongoing process, one which allows us endless opportunities to make up for the mistakes we are making now. And that’s why I think it’s important that we take a moment to look at the world and to remember that the only constant is change.  Below are some photos to remind us of just that

4 thoughts on “Time is Not Forever

  1. Thanks sammy
    This comes at just the right time for me.. I celebrate my 74th birthday this year. Having been living with liver cancer for the past 7 years each day is celebrated.
    I have just found the freedom in aging by being able to embrace the concept of being too old for that (whatever I feel that, might be)
    I am lucky that there is still so much for me to receive and to give. The fact that change is constant is not threatening but challenging. In the end knowing I love my life, have been loved and loved well.

    1. Hey Benjy,
      Great to hear from you. Your heart is right, brother. And I live by the same notion that every day is a gift — to the best of my ability, that is.
      I wish you a good time, and hope to see you soon.

  2. beautiful … ‘required viewing’ for humanistic growth – the father, son and faithful dog photos most heartfelt –

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