December 20, 2011 1 Comment
Recovery from surgery is a drag. I’m not a good patient by any means- I’m more of an “impatient”- but the 80/20 rule applies to healing as well, and the long tail of debilitation feels to me like it is longer than it should be.
So one thing I tend to say to myself when I’m troubled by whatever-it-is, is “it’s not forever; it’s only for now”. (cue Avenue Q, “For Now”).
But I started thinking about this, and had the realization that “forever” is merely “now” repeated. Given our perception of time, that every day is today, and every time is now, what would it mean to differentiate between them?
Obviously, forever is a plural concept, but is it qualitatively different than “recently” or “soon” (likewise plural concepts, where they represent specific relational subsets of forever)?
Likewise, the proverbial formulation gam zu ya’avor (this too shall pass) implies a sameness between all of the various nows, the sum of which are forever.
I’m not sure where that leaves the “only for now” mantra: it’s certainly true, but is it trivial? Is there actually a perceptual difference between forever and now, or can that only be understood in retrospect? In any case, it is less of a salve than I would have expected.
Perhaps that expectation may be part of the trouble? Expectations in general cause more trouble than gain, and the whole difficulty here is unmet expectation of a complete healing, right now. So maybe this is a reminder that I am neither the first man created, nor was I there when God created the earth. My expectation of understanding causes difficulty, and this could be telling me that I should focus instead on my actions, and on acceptance of the realities which confront me rather than dwell on “how long?”