Dirk Knemeyer

Ripening and time

It was in my early 20’s when I first realized the delicate role time plays in what does or does not happen.

Like most things, it was not a thoughtful process for me to discover: the reality of it just sort of settled into my consciousness. I realized that, if I could wait a month or two just sitting patiently in the background, I would be elevated and celebrated. But if I instead tried to actively facilitate that process now – even if it was done in a way that didn’t seem like I was the one orchestrating matters – it would not only not happen now, it also wouldn’t happen later. The fact that the matter was circulating before people were ready for it would necessarily preclude its ever happening.

Isn’t that odd? Usually when we talk about time it is looking in the future as a constraint of when we arrive somewhere that cannot be changed, or it is looking in the past and wondering where it has “gone” in some way. But time also ripens human inter-dynamics just as the sun ripens fruit.

I was thinking about this after the U.S. Presidential Election recently past. Commentators began touting 2016 tickets of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Bobby Jindal began writing editorials that clearly seemed designed to position him for national prominence. The wheels and machinery were in motion 2-3 years before the moment of ripening would occur. It was clear to me that, insodoing, some of the aspiring candidates will end up ripening too soon and not ascend to their party’s nomination. While I don’t know which candidates will be so effected it is inevitable that some of them will. Of course, thanks to the early ripening of some then others who are not yet being exposed to the “sun” will emerge. So in the abstract it is neither good or bad, although more certainly is for the actors being directly impacted.

I suspect there are many things about time that we do not understand. As a layman, I take for granted there are things that big brainers like theoretical physicists understand about time that I do not. But I bet there are massive mysteries, remarkable and unfathomable dynamics, about time that even those on the bleeding edge cannot yet comprehend. It is without question the most powerful single force in the universe as we understand it. But given its power, its breadth, the role it plays in our lives that we simply accept and acknowledge but don’t really understand, surely there must be mysteries and ecstasies still to discover which are beyond our comprehension. Of course, these realizations will almost certainly come only after my own mortality has been claimed by, yes, time.

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