The round face stares back at me, oblivious of the turmoil bubbling beneath the surface, the emotions that floods my soul. The long arm runs round and round, passing the short one twenty four times a day. Running, moving, ticking, never stopping. Until finally. It stops. Forever.
Twenty minutes? That is not even a full lap of the long arm. It is only 1,800 seconds. It’s nothing. So little time in the context of life. How much can change in so little time? How many things can we say? How many lives can we save? How many lives can we destroy? How many hello’s? How many goodbyes?
Twenty minutes is a fleeting moment, a short time most of us barely comprehend. A few minutes that can change your life. It can rearrange paradigms. Time can be cruel and change everything in an instant.
What if the next twenty minutes will be the last you have?
Would you view it differently? Would you count the seconds? How would you spend it? Would you be astutely aware of every passing moment? What would be the words that you use? Would you ignore the petty things? Would you ignore hurtful things? Would you ignore insults? Would you only focus on important content? You know, those things that needs to be said?
Would you choose more carefully? Will you ensure every single word hits it’s mark? Like seeds falling on fertile soil? Find impact. Will you ensure that every single sentence has value, gravity, that it ends up being something. That it will uplift? Motivate? Encourage?
Goodbyes are final and sad and everyone’s inevitable reality. We all move on. We all go home. What you say in those last moments leaves an imprint. A picture that your mind takes with you. That is why we want nothing unsaid. It’s important for us to say everything that we need to say. It’s the lovely memory we take with us, lessening the pain of the absence that follows. That aching longing of being without the other person. A memory that helps us in the dark days.
Twenty minutes is not enough time to summarise what another person means to us. It’s way too short to fully comprehend the memory of a loved one, it is just too short to say goodbye. But it might be the only time you are given.
Be careful with words. Treat conversations as a final twenty minutes. Say only what needs to be said, mention those words that will make a great picture, an awesome composed memory. For that is what everyone takes with them.
For the moment may arise when time stops for you or a loved one. When the time is up and the train’s final sirene echo’s as it leaves the station to a better place, leaving you standing alone next to the tracks.
And imagine what a waste it would be if the only emotion you have is regret.
PS – Ok fine, it’s evident. I signed up for Writing101. ‘Cause I can and more importantly it is free. And I need all the help I can get. So the first exercise of the month was to free-write (is that even a word?) for twenty minutes. Basically that means write whatever comes into your brain without contemplating what that might be, and that my friends is extremely dangerous. Anyhow I did that, then edited the content for another forty minutes, which is something I love as much as having a root canal, before posting.