Time Bends.

     April 23rd is an important date in my life. In 2007 it was a day that changed my life.
     On that day my partner of 17 years made the transition from this life to the next one, and I was faced with an unexpected and unclear future.
     I remember that day, that week, in fact several weeks leading up to that day in minute detail. Some of the memories feel only a week old they are so bright and present in my mind.
     At the same time the intervening six years have brought me to a place I could not even have imagined in 2007. When I focus on my change and growth and who I am now, 2007 seems a lifetime ago. Decades. Distant misty history.
     In Kurt Vonnegut ‘s 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five, a character says he is “seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is.”
     Since 1969 science has offered many new theories about time and space. Quantum physics and String Theory have posited concepts of our existence in a multiverse; parallel time-lines and multiple non-physical dimensions. Time-bending is no longer an alien or mystical possibility. Time Bends, just as Einstein said in 1917.
     On the morning of the April 23rd 2013 I was in weather which suggested spring. I have a plan to install a new labyrinth before World Labyrinth Day on the first Saturday of May, and I went outside to begin preparing the land.
     As I begin uprooting the weeds and opportunistic plants that had taken root last autumn, I realized that the non-linear nature of time, the sensation of time-bending, and the path of the labyrinth are very much connected with each other.
     If my life is a road from birth to death, then it is surely does not travel a direct route. There are turns and corners and apparent backtracking. There is hope and dashed hope, opportunities seemingly passing me by only to reappear, beckoning me forward.
      Labyrinth work often refers to the idea that the labyrinth is a metaphor for life. Without doubt the road of my life is exactly like the folded path of the labyrinth. There is a destination, yet it is rarely evident, and I gain the most when I simply surrender to what is, and allow the journey to reveal itself.
     As I worked this April 23rd, I recognized that memory and time-bending can be experienced thus. The theoretical concept of all of time existing at once became very real.
     There is no wrong way to travel on a labyrinth. If I want to, I can choose to step outside, or over, the lines. I can step from path to path to path. I might lose track of direction, but I will still be in a place and time.
     When I step over the dividing line in my memory I can choose to re-live my 2007 experience. I can be back at the bedside, back at the memorial circle, back at the first days of inner emptiness. The feelings are real. My body slumps with the weight of the grief.
     Equally I can choose to be in Now. It is a choice. I can focus on the many positive aspects of my life. I can celebrate the changes in my geography, my education, the opportunities I have been granted and even some attitudes. I can sit in meditation and access the feelings of times I have not yet reached. I am granted visions of what will be: foreknowing permits course corrections and a feeling of security.
     My experience is all about where I place my focus and energy. It can even be about “when” I place my focus.
     It serves me to know that I can bend time and visit another time in a feeling memory, a re-experiencing. I can go further back and wallow in the laughter of road-trips in the 1990s and the warming comfort of arms holding me when I needed them most. Those times are still there, I can lift my mind out of Now and into Then.
      Time bends, and I am so grateful to be in this time-line, learning what it means to be a temporal tourist, living transition.

Transition Coaching