I literally just wrote last week’s Runaway Home blog. How can it be that I’m facing yet another last-minute day-before-deadline so soon? I just rhymed yesterday’s song and barely learned to finger pick its fledgling melody. The day before that I was born, then I tangled in adolescence and left home a young adult to start anew. It seems that I got married, divorced, signed a few deals, lost a few deals and never noticed a single sundown in between. Have I been on a perpetual high for decades? Well yeah, but I think there is something more akin to a cosmic joke afoot. I’ll tell you what, either way I’m more than mildly irritated that the cliché of time moving faster as you get older seems to have overtaken me. I mean, I’m pretty fast and still that cliché has clipped my heels.
I have a laundry list of band duties, solo artist and writing duties, friendship and family duties, as well as the more mundane bill paying duties. At this point they all seem to be stuck on rinse and repeat. This To-Do list multiplies instead of subtracts at an ever-increasing and alarming rate. The only saving grace here I suppose, is that the list is made up of passionate objectives and alluring expectations. But really, I think I have caught my tail at this point. Now what? Yep, let it loose and chase it again.
Clearly, I think I should have paid more attention to the Einstein relativity and space-time continuum stuff in my high school and college science courses. No doubt I would have been more suited for and less staggered by this worm-hole realization that I am constantly running out of time. I chose instead to conduct my own time and spaced-out research during my learned years. So far those more “esoteric” studies have proven far less conclusive than those of the more notable German-born theoretician.
There are methods of slowing down this careening clock. Turn off the computer, darken the lights and switches of the recording studio and sit quietly, preferably outside. Write a song or a book (though I’m very accustomed to writing both on my computer) or hum a tune while walking down a wooded path. I think the main trick though is to just not be busy. Cut my list of To-Dos in half and then in half again. Be less obsessed and dial back ambition. The problem is that I am insanely driven: to write songs and books; to harmonize with my friends; to live on the road singing the music of Runaway Home; to kayak rivers; to fly airplanes; to camp in the wilderness; to drink great scotch; and to debate lofty matters with equally passionate friends.
OK I’ll cut back. Where do I start? Where would you start in scaling back the passions in your own life? This fantasy of slowing down time has its own drawbacks and I’m beginning to believe that it’s not worth trying to manipulate at all. I think I’ll just resign myself to occasionally complaining about time’s ruthlessness and then get back to the self-made madness of pursuing all things at once. In the end, it is not running out of time that I fear, it is running out of things to do with the time that I have. Dreams derive their power and are at their most inviting, when they are close enough to see but dance just out of reach. When I think of it that way, I just get over myself and get back to the passionate pursuit of happiness. Speaking of which, I think I’ll eat a cookie now!
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
“It’s The Music That Makes Us Smile”
picture credit: Paul Klekotta