TIME IS A TOY
OR, OF BEING OVERLY BUSY, AS OF COURSE ALL
OF US ALL TOO OFTEN ARE
"Don't Forget to 'Stop and Smell The Roses'"--Old Saying
"The human desire for more leisure-time is a wave that will break in the future"--Psychology Today
When people are Running On A Very Tight Time-Schedule
Practically crazy from their busyness, & semi-nutso from the stress,
Sometimes, in a moment of surcease from that misery, just after they
rush by, one can overhear them say: "Hey!--we have a little time
to play with
So let's stop & try to relax & catch our breath for a minute!"
It occurs to me that in saying that--& in saying something about "playing"--
There's something quite specific which they mean to indicate
even if only just in passing & which is that
Time is, indeed, a Toy!--& that moreover, given just even a
little bit more of it, one can usually have some fun with it
As one might with some pleasantly amusing or highly congenial or even
intimately close friend
Instead of having to deal with it, usually,
As if it were some kind of perpetual enemy,
Or otherwise like some kind of "time bomb"--pre-programmed,
ominously ticking, & otherwise just about set to burst!
--& Even though I know it isn't very fashionable to say it these days
In this, our "fast-paced" (or anyway rapidity-hyped) 21st Century
Which so far seems to make almost everybody including me feel guilty
If we find ourselves with two extra seconds on our hands
& don't instantly devote them to hysterically figuring out some new
way to keep ourselves "productively busy"
& Acting somewhat like heat-crazed jumping-beans
What I'd like to say, anyway, is that I think that all of us (including me)
could use at least a bit more of that free time called "Playtime";
Yes, just a little bit more free time to think about things besides
"catching up on things"
& More free time too, just to kill some time sometimes
--Yes time just for fun & frolick; & even just to play, Hang Out,
act silly; have fun: maybe f--k & generally fool around!
For, as we all know, taking it easy at least occasionally & even relaxing
tends to feel quite good to us Humans;
& Don't Psychologists, too, tell us too, that doing so is not only in accord with our most basic Human,
as well as inborn Animal rhythms (including our natural, positively planetary taste for Variety)
But is also plain & simply, healthy
--& After all (as it doesn't take Psychologists to tell us)
What the hell, a little relaxation every now & then never hurt anybody!
No it can't!--& surely it can't hurt a truly "Just Society" very much
Not to have everybody grunting & sweating constantly, & cursing beneath
their breaths & staggering around beneath the overwhelming weight of
their accumulated fardels
Or otherwise, trying to pull "1000% Of Their Weight" all the time.
And even if it does hurt our "Society," that more or less imagined Entity--
(which, after all, it takes people including you & me to deign
in the first place to recognize & agree to call "Society")
Society isn't after a highly sensitive Real Live Person, like you or I are;
& Society's probably not going to say "ouch," if you or I drop out
of it for a bit--or even for an entire day or two or more at a time every now & then
So as to center our energies, & restore our sense of sanity & recharge our batteries generally
--Assuming, of course, that we can!
& Whenever we can do that, whether together with others or alone,
aren't we likely to find ourselves in rather excellent Company?
After all: isn't it for our legitimate Relaxation's Sake--
Which is to say for the sake of our feeling free to occasionally
Goof Off, Konk Out, & Just Crap Out for a while
In a hammock or a day-bed or even on a favorite rug laid flat upon the floor,
So as To Collect Our Thoughts Amid The Pressure Of
Events; or to meditate, or even to totally blank out
Exactly why God Himself (or Herself) was so forward-looking
& admirably avant-garde at one time
As to have invented the idea of "The Sabbath"?
--& Perhaps also, the still somewhat futuristic idea of
The "4-Day Work-Week" & "3-Day Weekend"?
'Time Is A Toy,' a poem
about--despite the odds--relaxing & taking it easy & unwinding &
was first published in New York Quarterly © Michael Benedikt l992.
A revised version was published in Israel in l997 in Jerusalem Review, © Michael Benedikt l997.
Webversions l999-2002, this Webversion © Michael Benedikt 2002.
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