Time is Irreversible

A note on design, dating, music and the interconnectedness of time.

I

One of the best life choices I’ve made has been venturing into motion design. It taught me how to measure time in frames; consequently, making me more mindful of its use.

I have tried to live in the moment severally but never seem to do so well at it. The last attempt had me whispering the words ‘Don’t waste my time’ to a lady sitting across the table from me on a date. It came off as insensitive but my concerns were genuine. When we place minimal value on how it’s spent, time ceases to hold value and sometimes, we never truly realise the value of it until we look back at all our formative years and discover how much time we’ve spent on things that played no role whatsoever in making the future better.

One year later, the aftermath of that date would have me lying on the floor at 2am wishing I could have done many things differently or better still undo the events of that day. The memory consistently reminds me of Brymo’s words in the song ‘Time is so kind’

Mouthing those words always leaves me with a nostalgic aftertaste. But alas, the well knitted percussion that accompanies the words could distract the impatient listener from the ardent meaning embedded therein. I lost time, lots of it; and unlike motion design, life does not give us the luxury of a timeline on which we can scroll back and forth, or tweak how each sequence ends.

When we become too magnanimous in sacrificing our time and people waste it, we get mad at them and we waste more time worrying over how they wasted something so irretrievably precious. Sometimes, we take it for granted when people go out of their way to sacrifice time for us until the same befalls us and we have to draw up great strength to forgive those worthy of our wrath. For instance, when friends choose to listen to us unburden our worries, it’s an act of generosity but as most humane acts are bound, we often confuse compassion for empathy.

II

Sobriety is how most people endure loss. We curl up into ourselves like dog-eared newspapers that were everyone’s favourite, now abandoned. The collapse of that relationship was the lesson I needed in order to learn how to deal with loss. It opened my eyes to the frailty of human loyalty and how foolhardy it is to trust in the words of people. Perhaps, the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant economic downturn fueled an unnecessarily deep-seated desperation amongst us. There’s an element of narcissism in everyone of us and having seen people cheat others and lie in order to get them to do their bidding, it’s only a pointer to the fact that our moral values as a people have been thrown to the wind. This weakness cuts across the population, from old to young, and its gradually becoming the norm. Maybe that’s the reason people lie to their spouses and claim to be protecting them when the truth is eventually revealed.

III

The dynamics of human relationships can be very unpredictable. Someone could be your source of encouragement in the day and the reason you contemplate suicide at night. I’ve observed, the mistake we all too often make is having too much expectations of people close to us. We forget that human nature is generally flawed and on the flip side, we always have reasons to believe people aren’t good enough. Sadly, that’s how life works; love can be unconditional but relationships aren’t.

Ultimately, nothing weighs heavier on the human mind more than a broken commitment, the grief of loss that threads on it’s heels and the realisation that unlike motion design, time is irreversible.

PS: This note was inspired by Brymo’s album Oso

Multidisciplinary Designer | Writer | Art Enthusiast