I can see the future. So can you.

The first thing I taught my granddaughter — after reading — was telling time. They no longer teach analog time in schools, so I bought a couple of those old wooden clocks we had when we were little kids. The ones on which you can move the hands. I wanted her to be able to read a non-digital clock because who knows? She might be in London, looking at Big Ben … and have no idea what time it was.

It took her just a few minutes to figure it out. From then on, she was on the clock. On her way to school. Hurrying home. Being ready on time.

On time.

Life is all about on time. Looking to the future with hope, fear, trepidation, Ouija boards and clocks.

Really, we can all see our future if we choose to look. We don’t always want to. If you want to see the future, take a look at the present along with a peek at the past. Extrapolate what’s most likely to happen. It’s not magic. Very basic logic — and probably not what you wanted to find out. We want to learn something special. The fabulous places we will go and the exciting things we’ll accomplish. We don’t want to know that our lives will be very much what they have always been, with minor alterations here and there.

The future is the present with the flip of a calendar. Intentions made real. Probabilities aligned.

Chinese (Sui) porcelain musicians. They come from the past. We all come from the past. In case you failed to notice.
Chinese (Sui) porcelain musicians. They come from the past. We all come from the past. In case you failed to notice.

My very old Chinese (Sui dynasty) porcelain musicians are on  my mantel having survived 1000 years of the past to be in my present. We all come from a past and are never in the present because as soon as we notice time, it has moved ahead. We never live now and are forever rushing from yesterday to tomorrow. Everyone tells us to stop and enjoy the moment. How can we? How do we find the now in the endless forward pressure of time?

We should not have invented time.

We can see ahead as accurately as we need to. Seeing more would gain us nothing. If we really saw what our future holds, it would be terrifying. We could waste our lives trying to change the future without stopping to realize that the future will rush past the same way “now” is racing. No one would enjoy anything and the future would look flat and hopeless.

Moreover, every one of us has a history that goes back to the beginning of time. The difference between us and the “blue bloods” who lord it over us with their famed family histories, is that they know more of the names and the rest of us don’t. Your family, whatever their name and rank, is no deeper, longer, or more important than mine. We are the same.

I will make one more prophecy which I can guarantee is true.

We will all die. Of something. Eventually.

Whoever preceded us and whoever follows us? We will all meet the end, one way or the other.


  1. Fandango September 4, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    As someone once said, those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it (in the future). Or something like that.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      This is one that I think a lot of people have said in one way or the other. I think more to the point that rulers and leaders who think the past doesn’t apply to them, that they can do it again without getting the same (or worse) results … are fools. Dangerous fools. It’s not that we repeat history precisely. History doesn’t happen twice, but as Mark Twain commented: “It rhymes.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fandango September 4, 2017 / 1:39 pm

        The irony of Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan is that he wants to bring this country back to what some consider to be a simpler and perhaps more idyllic time. But the reality is that Trump and his supporters don’t remember that, for many, those picturesque times that they pine for were not something most people wish to recapture. Leaders should let the past stay in the past, learn from it what it can teach, and focus on making a better future, rather than harkening back to a past that never really was what they remember it to have been.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong September 5, 2017 / 12:03 pm

          The whole concept of “learn from it” has been lost by an entire generation. Bad schooling?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango September 5, 2017 / 12:11 pm

            Or short attention span syndrome. Learning in 140 characters.


            • Marilyn Armstrong September 5, 2017 / 12:18 pm

              Maybe that’s how we should teach school. Skip the boring lectures. Make everything tweetable. It would shorten up the day and reduce homework, right?

              Liked by 1 person

  2. angloswiss September 4, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Today Mr. Swiss were talking about time and we reached one conclusion. When we were working we were convinced time would slow down when we were retired. It didn’t. It is going at the same pace, although we have slowed down, so it is faster. And I really do not want to know what the future holds for me. I still have a few books I want to read first of all.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 1:30 pm

      I often feel that it is going even faster. Summer passed this year in one big rush. I never got even a few days to just sit outside and enjoy it before it was over!

      As for the future, I don’t want to know either. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. trentpmcd September 4, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    “You know, I could write a book. And this book would be thick enough to stun an ox. Cause I can see the future and it’s a place – about 70 miles east of here.” Sorry, I often slip into obscure lyrics by obscure performers (Laurie Anderson,”Let X Equal X”). But then again, this song is all about how predictable people can be and that the future isn’t that difficult to see. Nor is the past. The “nobility” are just the people whose families were the most violent back in the day…

    Liked by 2 people

    • choosingmyperspective September 4, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Oh my gosh! I love this. Nobody I know in the here and now has heard of Laurie Anderson!! But wait, maybe there isn’t a here and now. Now, I’m confused!

      Liked by 2 people

      • trentpmcd September 4, 2017 / 8:56 pm

        A few people still remember Laurie Anderson, but not nearly enough! Actually, I think the here and now is all that there is. We might remember the past (like Laurie Anderson) and perhaps we can see the future (a place 70 miles east of here….) but they don’t exist. I think. Maybe I’m confused now…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 9:46 pm

          That’s because you think TIME is real. That’s the illusion. There is no time. No forward. No backward. A forever being wherever we are. Okay, now I’M confused.

          Liked by 1 person

        • choosingmyperspective September 5, 2017 / 9:09 pm

          Me too. Sitting in a horrific thunder storm in Mississippi wondering how anyone will survive this next big hurricane. Wait! That’s in the future. It is confusing. …KABOOM! I think Irma is WAY more macho than Harvey though!

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Martha Kennedy September 4, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    I always laugh in grim and sardonic amusement when I read an article that says something like, “Drinking 4 Cups of Coffee Daily Has Been Shown to Reduce Your Chance of Death.” OK. so I’m immortal now :p


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 2:00 pm

      Me too. I think I’ll have another cup right now. I have been contemplating the value of getting a percolator. Would stronger coffee make me live even longer? Can you live longer than forever? Are all unlimited sets the same length or are some of them longer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Martha Kennedy September 4, 2017 / 2:05 pm

        I don’t know. No article I’ve found has been clear on that point. I recommend a Bialetti Mokaexpress. They are about $30. They make one large cup of espresso that tastes great.


        • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 2:19 pm

          That might be a better investment than a percolator. Garry doesn’t want to clean a percolator and I can’t blame him. The drip machines are fine and we can always add more coffee to make it stronger. How caffeinated do we really need to be?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Martha Kennedy September 4, 2017 / 2:39 pm

            Hard to say. I drink my big cup every morning to assure my immortality, but I really cannot handle more. At least I know there will be one great thing every day. 🙂


  5. Covert Novelist September 4, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Couldn’t have said it more accurately. Brava because seriously, you’re right! If you knew the day of your death, you’d avoid that consequence at all cost and or worry about it. Needless to say, it’s important to enjoy the day as is without worrying about what’s ahead or left behind. Not an easy task for some who are born worriers and others that are sooo lax Dasi cal as to miss the present. Aimlessly wasting what time they have on nothingness.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      You can only enjoy where and how you are right now. Everything else is something that is gone and the rest may or may not ever be. Time really is an illusion.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      You are welcome. I found this sitting in my draft box. I must have written it months ago and never finished it. So I sort of finished it 🙂


      • Deborah Slavik September 4, 2017 / 5:36 pm

        Well, it came out at the right time for me, so maybe it was meant to be!


        • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 6:25 pm

          I had forgotten I’d written it. I’m glad it worked for you 🙂


  6. swo8 September 4, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    They aren’t teaching them to tell the time, they can’t add or subtract, don’t know the times table and they don’t know how to write cursive. What the heck are they teaching them anyway?


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 4:41 pm

      How to answer questions on prepared tests. The prepare for one test, pass it and prepare for the next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 September 4, 2017 / 7:28 pm

        Coming out with a very meager education.


        • Marilyn Armstrong September 4, 2017 / 7:40 pm

          In many cases, other than reading and sometimes, some basic arithmetic? NO education. They learn nothing at all.

          Liked by 1 person

      • choosingmyperspective September 4, 2017 / 9:04 pm

        I’m a long way from back still. Sitting in Mississippi right now, having just survived Harvey (my cousin’s home under 4 feet) and now here with folks trying to decide how to get back to their home in Florida, avoiding Irma!
        Hurricanes were NOT on the itinerary!!!


  7. lwbut September 5, 2017 / 3:00 am

    I like and agree with this post, but depending upon your perspective you could say Time created Us. Without time absolutely nothing would ever ‘happen’! We’d just be a motionless motion picture.



  8. Journey of Roo September 5, 2017 / 10:01 am

    Yeah, i believe in that prophecy that you made ;)… I can also tell a secret about you and i guarantee complete accuracy- ‘you were born’ 😀
    We all, no matter of what color or faith or land material we were fed, were born. Birth brought us all to this world. It didn’t do any discrimination. If not for birth at least looking at death i hope we realize our Oneness. Death knows no racism, no border.. Death embraces us all without exception 🙂


  9. evilsquirrel13 September 5, 2017 / 10:17 am

    Reminds me of a great George Carlin monologue on the concept of time. And my favorite part from it…

    Stranger: “Pardon me sir, but do you know what time it is?”

    George: “Do you want to know the time now, or when you asked?”


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 5, 2017 / 11:10 am

      That’s it, pretty much. Time really isn’t. We use it as a gauge to keep us ticking along, but it’s not a “thing,” just s general calculator. NOW, if ONLY I could get it to take me when and where I want to be. Maybe using dragons? Or … Rainbow Unicorns?


  10. rimjhimjethani September 5, 2017 / 11:25 am

    These writings about time and future do motivate and inspire us for few moments but as soon as we get in our real scenarios we tend to forget these things and continue doing things we already are doing.
    Indeed related to popular phrase ‘Live in present because present only will decide your past and future’ and the more sayings like ‘Don’t think about past because its gone and don’t worry about future because its not arrived yet’.
    All these things are easy to say and realize but very hard to apply in real terms. Writing about these things do motivate people but for lesser time.
    And yet you never know what’s next thing is waiting for me.
    My notion would be ‘Don’t just exist, Live.’

    P.s: This piece of writing is very motivating and very nicely presented though. Starting with a story and ending it with the ultimate truth which is DEATH. Loved it.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 5, 2017 / 11:31 am

      Actually, they may BE meaningful, but they are totally confusing for all of us. We live “in time.” Time isn’t anything, of course, except our way of knowing when to meet for work or play or whatever. Otherwise, I suppose we’d do what kids do … wander about just enjoying whatever comes along which doesn’t seem like such a bad idea either. Having at some point created time as a meaningful part of mathematics, I don’t see us escaping it, though I wish we could.

      I think of it this way (and yes, it is confusing even to me, in my own brain): everything happens now. NOTHING ever happens in the past or the future. If everything happened in the now, maybe there’s some way of recovering all those “now” periods and maybe there’s some way get our current nowness to move into those other nownesses.

      I am a total junky about time travel (obviously — you got that, right?) and even more than I want to travel in space, I want to travel in time. Not forward (to go where no one has gone before? Not me, thank you!), but back. Somewhere pleasant, green, where no one is fighting a war. I might not come back.


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