A Timely Topic (heh-heh, sorry!)

Sunday night already? We work our way through the weekdays yearning for the weekend and then it’s here and gone again in less time than it takes to perk a pot of coffee to drink with the Saturday morning paper.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand time. When I was a child a day was endless. I ate and napped and played the hours away, unaware of time until I received the five-minute pre-bedtime warning. But as an adult I’m stunned at the progressive speed with which my days keep shrinking. Twenty-four hours are twenty-four hours. How can the length of a child’s day be different from mine? Einstein’s theory suggests it may have something to do with time dilation… the difference in time being due to differing perspectives.

Time may be just an intellectual concept but at the rate it’s passing I’m wondering if there will be any of it left when I reach my venerable dodderage. Or at that point will I wake up, acknowledge it’s morning, and then roll over and go back to sleep because it’s already night again? Maybe if I become senile and return to child-like ways my days will begin to get longer?

This is much too cerebral for a Sunday evening. I think I’ll head for bed. It may be morning before I get there.

Tenacity despite the odds

“If you will it, it is not a dream.”  That’s such a crappy platitude! It suggests we can achieve anything if we want it badly enough but reality shouts otherwise. There are some circumstances we simply can’t change. Does that mean we shouldn’t try?


Consider Terry Fox* and Jeneece Edroff**. Consider Albert Einstein***. Each faced significant obstacles but still achieved great things. If they allowed the negative aspects of life to tempt them into a fetal position where navel-gazing was their main preoccupation, none of their accomplishments would have materialized.


How does this apply to our writing? Whether or not a person will be a writer is not something determined by anyone else. A writer is someone who writes, someone who transfers thoughts into written words. Dreaming about writing won’t get anything written but reaching for the pen (or keyboard) will, because every journey begins from where we are and proceeds one step at a time. Tenacity keeps us moving.


I try to remember this when the words won’t come or seem trivial and I am tempted to give up. 


* “Terry Fox was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research… To date, more than $400 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry’s name.”


**  Jeneece Edroff lives with neurofibromatosis, a rare and painful genetic neurological condition. Despite her own medical obstacles, she has a desire to help other kids who have special challenges. With the help of friends and family, she organized a penny drive, which has spread across the province. In 2008, the province-wide campaign raised over $600,000 all of which stayed in B.C. Since starting the coin drive, Jeneece has raised over $1 million.”


*** In 1896 Albert Einstein entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship [but] was unable to find a teaching post, [so] he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office…
During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work… Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities… In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.” (From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1901-1921, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1967)