Stretched Thin

Imagine an hourglass. Now, imagine that same hourglass, only cosmic. The total sum of potentiality is amassed at the top, each individual grain representing an element of the future; in the bottom bulb, the old dusty past collects in drifts, possible futures realized into actual pasts; and this transformation occurs through a narrow chokepoint, a thin hollow of glass where the present transforms the ever shrinking future into the ever growing past. This small channel is where our lives are lived: plans realized, decisions set, memories made.

And lately, that neck has felt very narrow, indeed.

These last few weeks have been exhausting. To quote Tolkien, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” While I haven’t found any sort of soul-corrupting ring of power, I have been missing a lot of sleep, and I’m beginning to suspect that the two share a lot of the same side-effects.

Everything seems to be coming together, and not in the way directors mean during interviews about particularly good movies: projects stack up on other projects, which in turn stack up on the normal daily work I have, and on top of that I’m a senior and I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life and oh man my bank account’s bone-dry and I don’t know if I’m ever going to see my friends again after graduation and what if I have to live with my parents–

Well, you catch my drift. It’s been a bit stressful. I’m tremendously glad for this weekend, in which I will attend Wordstock, an annual celebration of the written word that I have participated in in my own small way since high school. Still, though, one relaxing weekend can’t fix my life, or keep me on track, and so I suppose I’ll have to look for bigger things.

I’m not too great at being a Christian. Now, I’m fine at it – I’m a good boy, and I firmly do believe in it all. But I don’t think my relationship with God is as strong as it should probably be. And so maybe this is all for the best.


One thought on “Stretched Thin

  1. Thank you, John, for expressing the things I have been feeling so well. The paragraph creating the image of the cosmic hourglass rocked my socks. I know what you mean about everything coming together in a bad way. It is time for decisions and I don’t want to make any of them. I too feel that I am not very good at being a Christian, but really, anyone who thinks they are good at it is probably deluded.


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