Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away?

 Elvis Presley would often sing a song called, "Ain't it Funny How Time Slips Away", during his seemingly never ending series of concerts stretching from 1969 until his untimely demise in 1977. It is not the greatest hit he ever had but it became a standard in his show and he can be seen and heard singing it on his concert film, "Elvis on Tour".

 The song itself is a bit of a melancholy tune about a fellow who meets a long lost love in the street and reminisces about the old times before moving on and tending to his business for the day, leaving his past on the street and way behind him where it belongs.

 Who knows why Elvis liked it so much but it must have had some meaning to him and provided some poignant memory which he enjoyed re-living through the song. A deep thinker was the King of Rock'n'Roll!

 I was watching "Elvis on Tour", a few weeks ago and it has been stuck in my head and provided the inspiration for my photo of the day and reminded me how fleeting some friendships can be and how enduring others are. My picture today is a case in point.

 I'm not sure about the rules or etiquette of posting photos of people without their permission but none of those in the picture read my blog so I will take pot luck and assume they won't mind having their heads in today's post. If by chance they stumble on the post and take offence, I will be more than happy to delete the photo.

 The day itself sticks vividly to my memory as it was my 30th birthday and it snowed! The Canberra Raiders were playing a televised game at home and I can remember watching the pictures of them throwing themselves around a field almost completely covered by the white stuff.

 It is a little unusual for it to snow in Canberra but it is not a completely alien situation although the amount of snow that day was heavier than I have ever seen it the few times it has occurred in my lifetime. Usually we just get frost and fog and a chilling wind coming of the mountains.

 I'm not prone to holding parties, in fact my anti-social nature generally induces me to avoid gatherings of any sort but with that particular birthday being a milestone my mother was very keen to celebrate beyond the usual family dinner. So, I had a 30th birthday party!

 The party was held on a Saturday in May, one of those rare dates that one's birthday falls on the first day of the weekend and my parent's garage, a large brick structure attached to their house was transformed for the afternoon into the party room.

 The attendee's, those other than my family, were almost to the last, workmates and where applicable, their partners. I have never had a great circle of friends!

 As far as I can remember, apart from the half a dozen people alongside me in the photo, there were another couple who I worked with who for some strange reason declined to be in the photo and there may in fact have been a couple of more ring-ins in attendance whose presence has slipped my memory.

 Fourteen years later, only two of those people at my parent's house that day still work with me in the same venue but I do have fleeting contact with all but three of the others. That trio have been lost in time, mere memories along the road to my present, gone but not forgotten but folk who I am unlikely to pick up with where I left off. Friends come and go in the shifting mosaic of life and some are lost forever.

 Ain't it funny how time slips away?

 I don't feel any different to that day almost fourteen years ago. In fact, in many ways I feel healthier in body and soul than I ever have although the aches and pains brought forth by slowly advancing age have started an attempt to suffocate the last vestiges of my youth. That is one battle I know I can't win.

 My life has changed dramatically in that time. I am in a long term relationship and only today fed my partner's two month old grandson his bottle and burped him, things my free and easy thirty year old self could never have dreamed of doing.

 I have travelled overseas several times since then, made mistakes, lived my life and generally enjoyed it even though it has hardly been a case of living on the edge. I now sit on the cusp of middle age and look back at the long road it has taken to get here and wonder where the years have gone.

 Friendship is a funny thing. It is something which should never be taken for granted and I don't think any of us really know whether our friends are for keeps or not. Some, you don't seem to be able to get away from. They keep popping up, even after many years, attempting to bridge the gap which time creates. They do it because they care and think you are worth the effort. Others are merely fleeting contacts in the expanse of our lives and don't turn out to be the people you thought they were. That is human nature and we live and learn by experience.

 Nowadays my circle of friends is much more colourful thanks to Linda and her close mates who have adopted me as well. The vestiges of the person I was fourteen years ago on that cold and miserable day in May can still be found deep down but I am a better, more complete person now, burnished by life and experience.

 But there are times I look back on photos like the one I have published today, scratch my head in bewilderment and ask myself, "ain't it funny how time slips away?".

 Looking back at our lives can provide feelings of good and bad but in the last few years I have been able to let the past go, let bygones be bygones and feel neither melancholy or happiness as the past disappears behind me. It's nice to remember and sometimes it is better to forget but always remember to look ahead and keep living. That is the secret of life and a creed I hope to live by forever more.

 Have a great weekend.

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