For as long as I can remember, I see images of time, in 3D. As soon as I hear the name of a certain month or day, I see the placement for it rather than any words or numbers. Life looks like a massive xylophone that starts in a dark corner at birth then curves three or four times as it ascends and fades into white, beyond the age of 100. As soon as I find out how old someone is, I see an image of them standing in place on my winding timeline and it can get crowded in spots when I think about people who are all the same age. I'm not making this up, my brain may have slipped through nature's quality control measures.
I've only recently learned that what I possess is termed spatial sequence synesthesia (curious?). I see time, and therefore my entire life, like a hovering hologram in my mind. Since it's been with me for as long as I can remember, I've learned to live well with it, just as I have with being left-handed.
One day, I saw this ant speeding across the empty chambers of a nautilus shell in my bathroom, with no apparent aim or objective. There's such a beautiful, prescribed order to the shell's structure and yet the ant scurried about like a child in a garden maze, frantically looking for the exit. I thought about my own life and the scenes replayed as though I raced around, just like the ant: east, west, up, down, forward, back and over twice. Again, and again.
As I continued to watch the ant, it started to slow down as it moved into the larger nautilus chambers. It looked as though it was finally giving in to the order of things, or maybe it was an optical illusion. It made even more sense when I thought about my own age. Where I see myself standing at sixty-two, the steps are wider and steeper as they climb up toward that vacuous edge that fades into white. I can't, and don't want to, scurry about like the ant, frantically searching for the exit.
I think it's time to accept the order as it exists and dance to a new rhythm. Now that I'm physically all grown up, it's time to adapt and change, develop new habits and practices. I'm constantly reminding myself that I am now living in "One Day, When..", that perfect place where I used to send all my wants and wishes when I was in my 30s and 40s. Do I want all of those old things? Just a few, time has given me better and more.
Even though my past rewinds and replays quickly like a video, it's been a slow and long process. Time, as it appears to me at least, is an optical illusion.
Images taken with an iPhone 5S.
No insects were harmed in the writing of this post.