Yet within this linear framework our lives are anything but straight lines. I imagine most lines are jagged, marked with the fluctuations of sharp upturns and downturns. Some lines inevitably curl and circle back or get caught in feedback loops where everything just keeps going round and round. Others level off for a stretch and run parallel with the straight track time keeps. I am sure some lines reach a certain point and just stop - frozen in a past that seems like a never-ending present while time continues its relentless beeline into the future regardless.
So time is linear and it measures our lives, but our lives are anything but linear. Trace the horizontal and you'll see certain patterns emerge. One mine is ebb and flow - a coming and going. A firm forward movement followed by a slow, steady withdrawal.
The past few years have been flow years, but I can feel the advance has lost all of its momentum. The edge of the wave has stopped and is now suspended; waiting for some force to propel it farther. But the force that pushed the wave this far has dissipated while the opposite force beckoning the wave to return has rapidly gathered strength.
I expect that over the next year or so, my life-line will appear to be moving backwards - in the direction opposite to and away from time. It sounds counterproductive, and sometimes it feels counterproductive, but it is anything but.
Although ebbs resemble retreats, they are actually times of renewal and regeneration - a slow and steady gathering of the energy needed to initiate the next flow.