It used to be far away. It didn’t have edges or form or description. The goalpost was an unknown point on a track to eternity. The game I was playing was unending, against an opponent destined for failure, with power over time’s harshest blows. All that mattered was the direction I walked, toward that goalpost that sat somewhere in the distance, just beyond the mist.
Enormity was a beautiful thing to get lost in.
Time heals all wounds and so all wounds were heal-able. All sorrows: comfort-able. All death: temporary.
Then the goalpost moved.
I didn’t move it. I don’t know exactly what moved it. I was just playing by the rules of the game, minding my own business, winning even, when the goalpost just came into clear view and stood there, close to me now, looking ominous. I could for the first time make out its edges, its form; I knew its description. It was finite. It was finite? It was finite.
And for all I knew, maybe the game itself was finite. Maybe there were goals beyond this one. Maybe not.
So I stopped walking. I needed time to think. I needed time to process. Time. Now, all there was was time. Time was not what it used to be. Time was a man behind a smoke of green. Time was a rabbit in a hat. Time was a Cheshire cat smiling in a dream.
Ignorance was bliss, but here this goalpost came making me less ignorant anyway, showing me time’s real face, as though it cared not about my feelings. It didn’t.
So what do you do when a goalpost stands there confronting you about time?
What do you do when the end of the game is in sight? When time puffs its chest?
You take the lesson.
And you practice.
And what is the lesson? Time is valuable.
And what is there to practice? Sitting with time.
There are beautiful things about un-enormity as well. There is a sweetness to the pressure of time, a value in its rarity.
Moving the goalpost closer usually means the game is more easily won.
And maybe it is.
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