Buddha downed his Big Gulp in
two mighty sips as I, cretinous
creature of line end, dug madly
for crumpled bills and change,
change, and the Buddha said,
“The trouble with you is,”
and he snapped into his
Slim Jim for dramatic emphasis,
no doubt, leaving me—
who had so recently struggled,
cosmically, with forces so great as
Starbucks and the Arizona Iced
Tea Company and their warring armies of
to madlib his profundity with troubles
(stupidity, sloth, an
indifferent God, parking violations)
too many to name, hanging
on his words while the
register ceased to ring and the
Slurpees ceased to melt, until,
“the trouble with you is,
you think you have time,”
the Buddha said, smiling
beatifically, paunch sagging free,
“motherfucker, time has you.”
The only thing we truly have is time
Looks fade, friendships drift away
Relationships sour or end in pain
Health is fickle to the point of cruelty
Even our memories eventually melt into confusion
And yet - what is time?
It is both our master and our slave
At once, abundant and scarce
The whip and the salve on the wound
I don't have time to cook that healthy meal
I don't have time to read to my child
I don't have time to care for my ailing mother
I don't have time to walk in the forest
I don't have time to take a bath
I don't have time to cry or feel or be
Today, it feels like time has abandoned me
There is none and tightness binds my chest
Constricting my throat - stifling a scream
I feel I'm falling, I'm failing
And yet - I do not despair
For there is always tomorrow
I believe this time will be restored
Sometime in the future - there will be time
For all these things that should be precious
Perhaps there will be time
Or maybe it's all run out
You think you have Time,
you have time,
but I have You
for all eternity,
the undying life
& not begotten
world w/o end,
in Love w/ itself
the shorn head...
ocean hill crest
imagined & yet
in the Infinite.
The trouble is... challenge @dctezcan
The trouble is you think you have time. For instance, you always think one day you’ll tell her. Not now. Not when it’s so inconvenient. not when it could make things weird. Not if it means losing her. Not if it could make her uncomfortable. not if it could worry her. Not when it could cost you a lifetime of friendship, her kindness, that ease you love about her. and her lovely face, the way she lights up a room. Not when she’s your favourite kind of magic. You won’t tell her now, but maybe later, when you’ve introduced her to all your friends and her friends don’t think you’re weird. When you’re not invasive, not out of place. Just a friend. Maybe one day you’ll introduce her to someone, or she’ll let you meet them, the kind of someone who makes her feel everything she deserves, who gives her all she needs, a handful of rings and a fistful of diamonds kind of love people write about it. Perhaps, as the years go by, you’ll wonder if you could tell her. but it’s not so important anymore. And you lose touch, and hear one day that she got married to that person, that magic person. They post pictures of their honeymoon hiking across the Andes. So you won’t tell her then, either, but instead thread the memories of loving her into that tapestry of fondness, of the things that kept you alive and hopeful, the things that kept you wanting to be better. You’ll write about it, tell someone else as you stroke their hair by the sea. Another friend, maybe, to watch get married to somebody else. And you’ll tell them, that maybe you loved her, loved the fantasy and her enough to know that you didn’t want to risk losing her by loving her wrong. About how you walked home from that rainy café thinking of how you would brew her chamomile tea—anything she wanted. How when you sat next to her you stretched away from her but all you wanted to do was hold her close, her lovely lovely shoulders. How at choir you only wanted her to stand closer, and lean into you, and you imagined swaying, like that, in a kitchen alone. You will tell her that you always held back, but that you loved her, maybe, after all, but it all flew by and the trouble was you still think you have time.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
This is such a great line. It seems simple, almost even silly on the surface yet becomes much more complicated upon further consideration.
The quote is telling us that death is here among us, not some far away distance. It’s almost to say, not that it will occur but that it is occurring as we speak. That is, we do not have time.
If I understand correctly, Buddhism is about presence. To be in the time and place in which one physically occupies. To take full advantage of every breath we make. To enjoy the miracle that is our own existence. This will take away our fear and hopes of the future and our regrets or pride of our past, which could be called wasted breath. When we die, all we have is the single moment of its very occurrence. Nothing else holds weight, has any value.
What are you doing this very moment? Whatever the answer, that’s it, all there is. It is all of you. This very moment is our entire life.
At first, it’s a terrible thought, to stare death in the face. It goes against human nature too, to ignore all the distractions of the human mind.
But ultimately it is a beautiful idea. It suggests death cannot conquer they who smile in its presence, those who are present with great serenity in every breath.
The trouble is, you think you have time, Antiro.
"In a moment," Antiro said, barely glancing up from his workbench. His latest potion simmered, on the brink of unlocking youth itself. Hunger and the outside world held no sway over him now.
Zenaya, his daughter, set a bowl of steaming soup beside him, her kiss a fleeting warmth on his brow. "I'm off to the village," she said, her voice a soft intrusion into his concentration. "For the festivities."
He grunted, his mind chained to his experiments.
"The festivities, Father," Zenaya persisted, her words heavy with the echo of missed moments, "for you."
"That's tonight?" he asked, the realization dawning like a distant storm.
With a sigh, Zenaya donned her cloak. "Be there," she implored before disappearing into the evening.
Her exit was nearly thwarted by Dr. Etaro, his entrance marked by a polite tip of his hat and a concerned gaze.
"Good evening, Zenaya," he greeted, stepping aside as she hurried past.
"Doctor," she replied, pausing. "Remind him, please."
Inside, Dr. Etaro found Antiro ensnared by his quest for immortality.
"Chasing shadows again, Antiro?" Etaro's voice was a mix of humor and concern.
Antiro's grunt was his only reply.
"Antiro," Etaro said, more firmly, "we need to talk."
"I'm close, Etaro," Antiro said, his eyes never leaving his work. "The potion, it's nearly complete."
"Antiro," Etaro interrupted, "you're ill. The tests showed a rare condition. Your time is running out."
Antiro scoffed, denial his first reflex. "I've never felt better."
"The disease won't wait," Etaro pressed, his voice laden with unspoken urgency.
Antiro fell silent, the truth settling in like a heavy cloak. "I know," he admitted, a whisper in the dim light. "I discovered the disease after testing the last batch of potions on myself.
"Then come to the village," Etaro urged, "live the time you have."
Antiro wavered, torn between his life's work and the undeniable truth of Etaro's plea.
More words flew back and forth. Voices raised as the dawn's light approached.
Etaro turned to leave, pausing at the door. "The trouble is, you think you have time, Antiro. You don't."
Alone, Antiro was left to confront the silent witnesses of his obsession—the unfinished potion, the empty chair, the fading light. In the stillness, he pondered the cost of his pursuit, wondering if the true elixir lay not in his flasks but in the fleeting moments of life passing him by.
If you name it, then it exists
I keep trying to reframe
Figure out why it matters.
And of course, it's regret that demands an answer.
Time is yet another construct
For us to attempt to alter.
To go back, change the horrors,
To fix Now.
Find the flaws,
To fix Now.
To create Utopia.
The problem is,
We think it's all about us.
That space and time should move in accordance to personally right the wrongs.
But we have yet so much to learn,
A pause we need to learn to take,
Some thought before we create in haste.
The time you will never be enough
If you are looking behind you,
Or too far ahead.
There will only be enough time
When you understand that
This is Now.
This is It.
This is the only chance you will ever get to be right here, right now.
Use your Now
"That's the trouble," he sat back against the wall with a heavy sigh, "you think you have time." He pulled the thin laptop across the laminate countertop to type a few numbers into the chart.
"You forget I'm a doctor, too," She retorted. "Besides, you've practiced medicine for centuries now, you would know time well."
"Seventy years is not quite a century, Doctor Adams." The older man said, raising an unkempt white eyebrow.
"How are you still so healthy after living through the chemical experiments of the fifties and sixties? Didn't you guys used to eat weedkiller or something?"
"I'm not the one with a tumor the size of a golf ball in my brain." The doctor exited with a shake of his head.
"I'm home!" She shouted to the beige walls of her house. "James?" It was unusually quiet for a Thursday evening. Her fiance usually invited his lab partners over to study; the library closed early on Thursdays. He was almost finished with his master's degree.
She tossed her handbag on the coat rack and kicked her shoes into the closet. "James!"
She walked up the first set of stairs in the narrow townhouse, rounded the corner and ascended the second set. Their offices were upstairs.
"Maria!" James stepped out of the office, flicking the light off. "I had my headphones in, I didn't hear you." He kissed her gently. "So, did the doctor figure out what was wrong? Do they know why you have been fainting?"
The photocopy in her back pocket of the brain scan and its damning evidence felt heavy enough to make her fall again. But she leaned against the half wall. "No, they still don't know why." James' face fell. "But we're still ruling out possibilities. I'm not pregnant or anything."
He nodded. "Well, we will pray that their investigation concludes. I don't need you fainting at the top of a staircase or somewhere dangerous. Come, I'm making shrimp scampi. I promise it will taste better this time." he laughed.
Maria gave him a bland smile and followed. So far, she'd fainted twice at work, once in a taxi and three times in the shower. She wasn't sure how much longer she could fool James. Maybe it was awful of her, but she didn't want her last days with James to be filled with tears for her inoperable condition. The success rate of the surgery required was too low. She wanted the last few days with her fiance to be peaceful.
The doctor had been right. She'd always thought she had time. She'd waited to get her degree, she'd waited to move in with James, as she'd waited for everything in her life. Always too cautious. And now she was out of time. Yet she still waited. Maybe she'd never have to tell James. Maybe they could live in ignorance and she could wait the tumor away.
Maria watched as the carpeted stairs swam and she fell headlong from the top.
The Trouble Is
The trouble is, you think you have time,
But he was wrong.
I know I don’t have time.
Time has me
Running marathons of mindless tasks,
Day after day.
Be here now!
My phone alarm says,
But not in a Buddha way.
I race through the day
Trying to be on time,
But time is always on me,
Until the last chore on my mental checklist
Then I waste time, fill time, kill time
Until sleep takes me out of time,
But only until morning.
I know what he meant, of course.
You think you have time
To do all the things you want to have time for,
But never do.
We all dream of having time.
Or time free
Of deadlines and dreadlines,
Worry and hurry.
We don’t have time.
We can only hold it
Like a breath,
For one moment.
Then let it go.
The Trouble with Time
The trouble is..
I think I have time.
‘Someday I will.’.
‘One day soon..’
’Tomorrow is another day.’
These lies I tell myself help
to ease the panic of life
There is no tomorrow
all that exists is today and
what I do in this moment
is all that matters.
The trouble is..
I think I have time.
Written for ‘The trouble is’ challenge.