Time was a palpable force this past week. Just home from the National Conference for the Romance Writers of America, back to back days sliced and diced into ten minute editor segments and sixty minute workshops, I'm able to look at the larger picture. It was not the projected seven minute wait for an available elevator or the slippery slope of networking that sometimes slid into firm commitments, but the gravity of the moments seen through a broader scope that now resonate with me.
Logically, we know time is one of the most predictable forces on Earth; and yet, our perception of it changes through the filter of our emotions. How else is it possible that five months worth of anticipation and preparation can magnify into one infinite moment filled with breaths not taken, images and sensory input dulled into obscurity? The chance meeting with someone who could hold the key to your dream becomes a moment shifted into overdrive when you've realized you've lost your words. Listening to a successful author recount her twenty year climb to success and realizing some of the amazingly talented and beautiful writers sitting around you may not have the luxury of two decades to achieve their goals. Looking around you at a table filled with friends who would never be content with their own writing until yours soars with it and knowing our time together could be fleeting.
Time is stable, yet we are not. Our movements and dreams shift as often as the phases of the moon. We look ahead with anticipation, but cannot wrap our minds around the time it will take to find our destination. We look behind us and find moments slipping beyond our control into some vague recollection of what we felt at the time, never able to recall with any accuracy the precise edge to our emotions.
Hope, love, sadness, joy--our strongest human emotions distort how we experience time. In the past seven days, I experienced them all like an outdated amusement park ride, slow and jerky in places, swift and out of control in others. But when the ride is the one of your heart--the one you'd never imagine travelling through life without--it's the sweetest journey of all.