I have done my share of senior complaining about how I can’t multitask any more and forgetting what I am doing from one moment to the next and the slipping away of time…God knows I can get pissy. Deepak Chopra, in his book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul writes about the struggle we tend to have with time and our sense that there isn’t enough of it. Time, as we perceive it, is a human invention to help us live in a practical way on this earth. But reality is actually timeless. I suspect that it is my age that makes time such an issue with me. At 73, I am keenly aware of the shortness of life before me. I am not always satisfied with the things on my time line. Much of it feels meaningless or superficial. A bother, you might say. I feel I am constantly surrendering to whatever is before me. I often feel distracted, helpless, and even confused by too much busyness.
Chopra offered an image this morning that I find helpful. “When the task of time management is turned over to the mind,” he writes, “the order it tries to impose is crude and unsatisfying compared with the spontaneous organization of the timeless. To be whole, you must let the timeless merge with time. That isn’t a matter of changing our attitudes alone. You need to cultivate deep awareness, because on the surface, awareness shifts constantly as one thing after another claims your attention.” He offers this beautiful image: “A river runs faster on the surface, but is nearly motionless at the bottom.”
There are moments in my day when it seems too much is demanding my attention at one time. I don’t handle it well. To those trying to communicate with me, I may look like a deer staring into the headlights, but in reality, I am trying to find that deeper place where time moves slowly. I want to sink down and let the clutter and confusion pass by on the surface on their own. I am not a deep-sea diver, but those I know who go into the depths, tell me that this place below is truly a place of peace. I think I understand.