Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Time's Flavor

I’ve spent 64 years of my life in the 20th century. The time just ahead of mine was my mother’s and father’s. When visiting with my grandmother, on the paternal side, she whose hair went all the way to the floor when she combed it in the mornings, I was with someone who had seen the light of day in the 19th and, for many years, when she said “Today,” it was another time than mine, a time with another flavor. A very thin, very unsteady, very withered ancient old lady lived with my grandmother—her own mother. A year or two after we children met her, she passed away. She’d spent most of her years (probably more than my 64) in the 19th, the century that ushered in the two World Wars with its passing…probably unaware what she was causing. The 19th was an odd time, a kind of renaissance of something that will eventually develop fully in my own future time: another time, another season.

Time has a flavor. Of course it’s constructed of memories. And children’s are more sunny than those of octogenarians. The late 1930s therefore were more bright and shiny than the 2019s will be for me: miry jungle, too much dark. I make this note because a few days ago someone young referred back to the twentieth in tones that I recognized as being similar to mine when thinking of the 19th. Already! The 21st has barely begun—but it is already labeling the 20th as “the past.” And so it is. So it is. Never mind the monstrosities and glories that it showed a stumbling humanity on its way to Eternity. Yes; one wonders about Eternity’s flavor in one’s eighties.

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