Monday, June 06, 2005

We are children for such a short time, but in that time there seems to be compressed an endless reservoir of memory for us as adults. If I were to take the years between age 4 and 10 and sort through my memory of them, and then try to convey those memories to another person, I might never stop talking. On the other hand, if asked to do the same thing for the years between 24 and 30, I could probably make do with a few paragraphs.
Why is that?
I don't think it's just because the 24 to 30 section is closer to me in time.
Childhood is another country altogether. We all travelled there alone at one time, with no experience to guide us, and we all crossed over its borders into adulthood at different locations and different times. But the experiences that we had there are uniquely ours, in a way that nothing else can ever be.
Is that why our days as adults seem rushed and forgettable in comparison? Or is there an actual contraction of time that occurs as we age?
My aunt thinks that the days are actually becoming smaller. That time is literally shrinking. Thats why years now feel like months to her, weeks like days, days like hours. At the end of our lives, will years seem like hours?