Tomorrow’s a Sand Trap

by Rebecca A. Watson on March 2, 2015

in Creative Writing, habits, Just Be, multitasking, time, writing

The hourglass stared at her, a primordial thing pulsing with the life the railroad companies infused into it all those years ago. (“It’s alive!”)

hourglass sandtrap

The sand glowed with a blackish-purple hue, and she sighed knowing that it was finite, this glass marked Tomorrow. Every grain of sand promised productivity in her mind, and she went about her day dividing the sand with her thoughts and her calendar.

The sand had not yet begun to fall, but each day she planned she noticed the hourglass (dayglass?) seemed to contain less and less of her precious granules. Was she imagining this?

She filled her calendar even more meticulously, leaving no room for error or question. Even her play time was carefully marked — the chaos of creativity was to be contained in the 3:00 to 5:00 window this coming Saturday afternoon.

bewitch time

But still her precious resource dwindled. She Googled. She read. She ate, drank and breathed efficiency but nothing seemed to help.

Her days were now a blur where nothing but the most basic tasks seemed to be accomplished: meals, shower, work, sleep. And sometimes even those slid.

She sank deeper into the haze, sure that the answer lay somewhere in tomorrow’s plan. Like a seasoned general, her strategy relied on ancient techniques: divide and conquer, starve the squeaky wheel, crack the whip.

There was no more scheduled play time — no moments of Eureka! The sands shifted and dwindled, promising an even bleaker tomorrow.

time is running

Desperate, she threw herself on her bed. She wept and cried out for help, to whom she did not know. Tears made trails to her ears as she lay on her back sobbing.

A soft voice came to her with two words: “Look up.”

Thinking she’d gone crazy but willing to try anything, she did as she was told. There, in all its luminance, hung a very full hour glass.

Its sand gleamed with crystal rainbow sunshine and seemed to overflow — the powder that drizzled into the bottom somehow returning to the top. She grabbed for the magic timepiece but it was just out of her reach.

She stood up; it continued to float over her. Looking up, she jumped this time, straining wildly for it. No luck. She needed a ladder or something.

Would the magic follow her if she walked to the kitchen? She hesitated — she didn’t want to lose this special creature. But after a few tentative steps, it was clear it was tethered to her.

She ran to the table and pulled out a chair to stand on. The sand hadn’t been shifted or even bothered by her quick sprint.

As she placed both feet on the chair and stood tall, she again reached for the precious hourglass.

And again it was just beyond her grasp.

This is when she noticed the marking on it. Looking closer she slowly read the two syllables out loud. “Today.”

Lulled by the constant flow of sand, she slowly stepped down, sat on the chair and asked herself, “What NOW?”

This is part of my 2015 goal to write more and differently. If you want to read more posts like this, click here.

Photo Credit: Karoly Czifra, Alice Popkorn, Andreas Rodler

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryn March 3, 2015 at 1:54 am

I love this. You articulated what I’ve been feeling lately which is it’s time for me to slow down…we can never master time and as long as we keep trying, we get pulled further from what is right in front of us, the present.


Rebecca A. Watson March 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Thanks Maryn. It came to me while I was falling asleep planning my tomorrow. Constantly living in the future does rob us of the present, but it can be hard to balance. It’s good to have the reminder I think.


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