the timing of your life.

the timing of your life.

man walking on the empty street
Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

ever wonder about the time of your life, I mean, when you happened to be born or not, sure, not much choice involved, I’ll grant you that, but there is always the wonder about living in other times in history future and past, we have approximations or even good (solid) ideas about what that means, at least in theory, in words in books, but not the day to day, moment to moment, breath to breath experience of those actual lives, what we take for granted would be miraculous to those in the past, and conversely those looking back at blogs and us might scoff, ‘written words… on a screen, tell me more grandpa!’, for whatever reason my mind drifted just now, tonight, as I was packing up my car for work tomorrow, I walked outside (as my car is not parked inside silly), the night is quiet, humid, hanging low, kind of ominous and pressing down like extra gravity, the street light, the actual light seems suspended in the air before finally exhausted reaching my eyes, and that leads me to wonder how the streets must have looked in time of just flame lamps, the time before electricity transformed this land (and the irony is not lost on me that I live in Edison, mind you, we have a big light bulb monument just around the bend), so, those flaming lamps, imagine all the time having to deal with fire and fuel instead of outlets, fire seems like such a dangerous thing at times, and is, but during that then it was the daily tool for all things, especially to fight off the night, how much darker things were then, most of us do not live that daily reality, fire is more a cute thing now when it is not a menace burning something down, a fireplace is a nice seasonal convenience my entire life during the winter holidays, or a fire on the beach leaving embers rising into the sky for late night memories and revelry, or out on a mountain trail cooking up breakfast on the peak of one of the Catskills, but just the replacement for a flip of a switch in everyday convenience? of course I could opine all that about ‘simpler times’ and the like, but every technology has it’s own idiosyncrasies in their moment of shine, every society looks back and raises a snobby nose at the more ‘primitive’ times, even if we are surely ever becoming someone else’s primitives by design, back to my musing vision…

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the time of gas powered (or kerosene) street lamps, in a way romantic, yes, in my mind I hear the sounds of horse drawn carriages, that perfect rhythm of hoofs up and down wooden wheels turning and churning, I think of moist cobblestone with a night sheen at certain angles, uneven roads that translate even the most comfortable ride into some level of bobble head motion, we live in a world of static shadows, as our electric street lights are now pinnacles of consistent stability, save for those broken ones or the ones that flicker like twitching fireflies, those old gas lights, dancing flames, shadows twirling with demons, owls asking questions openly, light cast on doubting watching eyes, all things to the imagination, perhaps I am romanticizing, or have seen too many horror movies set at the turn of the previous century, when I think of those old flame lit streets I think of London, and Jack the Ripper, strange how a kid from New Jersey has such a singular view and vision, but it is what I think about in singular fashion, and the night, this night triggered the notion, so I go back inside, to my regular life, to resume all that consumes, so I might retreat back into my own time.

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