Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Long Mile

Another century come to past, but I've... I've had to see my friends and loved ones die off through the years... Hal and Melinda... Brutus Howell... my wife... my boy. And you Elaine... you'll die too, and my curse is knowing that I'll be there to see it. It's my torment you see; it's my punishment, for letting John Coffey ride the lightning; for killing a miracle of God. You'll be gone like all the others. I'll have to stay. I'll die eventually, that I'm sure. I have no illusions of immortality, but I will await your death... long before death finds me. In truth, I wish for it already. We each owe a death - there are no exceptions - but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile seems so long.
~ last lines spoken by old Paul Edgecomb (Dabbs Greer) in The Green Mile ~
As I've mentioned in this space before, I have this innate penchant for obsessing on certain things, movies among them. Almost every time The Green Mile is shown on TV, I feel compelled to watch it. Each time I do, I get a bit more philosophical than usual because this movie speaks to me on so many different levels.

In particular, the last three lines speak my heart. It's not that I have a death wish per se; it's more that time doesn't seem to move for me like most people tell me it does for them!

"Time just flies by" is a comment I hear from people from all walks of life. Comments from seniors or middle-aged folks typically reference the fact that their youth seems like just the other day. I know my late grandpa use to talk about his childhood like it happened only a few years prior and this was when he was in his late 80s.

While time may appear to shoot by for the vast majority, time for me seems to drag on endlessly. I feel like I've been alive for millions of years! My childhood is only a vague and distant memory. Hell, my forties seem like several centuries ago.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I no longer work and rarely socialize. Back in the day when I was fully employed and much more connected, I felt the same way. I don't know why the experience of the concept of time is so different for me; I only know that it is. And I must admit that I'm jealous of all you folks who experience it in a much faster time frame!!

As it is, I will continue to trudge ever so slowly on my own mile.


  1. I love the show to. That quote reminds me of the impermanence of life. I live with my beloved, but at odd times am struck that we will someday day, so treasure the time we have.

  2. i'm with you! time seems to crawl for me- i don't know why.

    i have a theory though that the perception of time is related to 3 things (at least)... how active and learning your mind is, how much pain you suffer, and how fast your heartbeat is. hence, as you exercise both your misery and your heartbeat increase, making each second crawl UNLESS you are able to slow your mind and get in the "zone"... then your heartbeat stabilizes whether or not it's fast or slow (it doesn't vary so much) and you can still your mind and bypass your misery. when you panic, your heart races, slowing time down or making it seem to stand still. as you sleep, you have no perception of time at all!
    when i had depression, time crawled for me- my misery increased, my mind was constantly racing, and i was anxious. now, i'm more relaxed but time is still pretty slow- i attribute that to a very active mind. my husband is more patient but that came with age (and less misery).
    there are a couple flaws with my theory. i don't know if anyone has really studied the perception of time intently, and what they would find if they did.


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