Yesterday, someone said, “I waste too much time. Every night, I think of the things that I wanted to do that I didn’t do, and think of the time that I wasted.”
I didn’t agree or disagree. I understand what’s he saying. When he said he was wasting time, he meant that he’d planned to accomplish things that day and didn’t. He did other things instead. In answer to my question about that, he said, “Read, watched the news, read more, ate and drank beer.” He laughed.
Was it really wasted time? No, just not time used as planned. But people get the sense they’re running out of time. They’re coming up on deadlines, end of life, a new week, month, or season.
I’ve drifted away from that. Part of my drift is because so much of what’s on our lists are impermanent matters given amplified importance. You got to sort through these things and decide what’s really important, and what’s just being driven by the ghosts of the past called tradition, or the demons of expectations.
Meanwhile, the conversation naturally kicked a song into the stream. Several, in fact. One that surprised me leaped in from 1972 and an album called Eat A Peach, when I was sixteen. That Allman Brothers album, released after Duane Allman’s death, had a lock in my playlist for over a year, joining another Allman Brothers favorite, At Fillmore East, a double live album.
The song that jumped out was, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”. It really came, again, as I stepped out and called in a cat last night. I looked up for the stars. The cat was right there, but clouds obscured the stars. From there came the song’s lines,
Lord, lord Miss Sally, why all your cryin’?
Been around here three long days, you’re lookin’ like you’re dyin’.
Just step yourself outside, and look up at the stars above
Go on downtown baby, find somebody to love.