Time is Fleeting, Never Stop

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Unfamiliar territory, the uncertainty paralyzes. A surge of panic fills my head and heart, only to be soothed by the perfect amber of a freshly poured Czech beer.

“Here I go again…”

Lost.

Around me is a language I do not understand. Spreadsheets in front of me I cannot comprehend. A feeling of being exactly where I should be. I relax, surprised by the comfort of the chaos.

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The color refreshes a memory when I was lost in the more familiar surroundings of the Skokomish Wilderness.

The sky still black, I anticipate the amber sunrise when we summit…rather if we summit, as of right now, I have no idea where we are.

“Shit…” I mutter to myself, louder than I had wanted, waiting only seconds before the echo returns with her reply. “Oh my God, I can’t believe it. You are lost again aren’t you?”

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I ignore the question, wishing it away, but the echo continues, “Why did I agree to go on this climb?” She lets out an exasperated sigh, hidden within, a tint of laughter.

Unpredictability in life is the one thing I’ve found to be a constant.

A sharp blow of her hiking pole on my butt is her protest to my stifled laughter, “It’s not funny…” she declares and we continue up the mountain.

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“Why is it so difficult to stay on the path laid out in front of me?” I wonder and reach for my beer. Standing in the middle of uncertainty, again where every step I take leads me away from where I expect to be.

Would I want it any other way? Perhaps on some days…

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Uncertainty has become a friend of mine. Things change around me quickly and if I do not flow and evolve along with it, I’ll suffocate. Be miserable.

It is cliché, but there is truth in Maya Angelou’s quote, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Without change, we rob ourselves of beauty. We rot.

“Remaining at status quo stagnates the soul,” I think to myself, and kicking back with my beer I wonder if that’s such a bad thing?

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Yes, change can suck.

Albert Einstein once said, “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Ah yes, is there anything more destructive than unfulfilled expectations? I suppose this is the catalyst for change, to get lost in the world and explore ~ anything to avoid the poison of expectations.

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The chaos of setting out on a new path, getting lost, is part of the process. From the moment we are born, adventure turns fear into wisdom, sparking curiosity to discover.

I think back to standing on the precipice between mountain and sky… the abyss speaking to me, and I glance towards my beer, her amber words ringing clear as I empty my mug, “balance, my friend…there’s a time for adventure and a time to reflect on adventure.” I nod to the waitress for another.

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The echo breaks the stillness of the dark while my headlamp scans the trees and boulders ahead.

“Why, again, are we doing this?”

The only words I can think of are 时间不多,从不停 ~ Time is fleeting, never stop.”

Eight characters a friend of mine, Eric Moen, shared with me last year. Words to provide added incentive to spark change when comfort begins to lead to stagnation.

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Those eight characters take me back when I stood along Hood Canal admiring a pre-dawn sky, sparking a childhood dream to climb Mt. Ellinor and watch this land come alive with the sunrise. Yet, in all these years never taking the time to do so. Why?

“Why?” I add to my reply back to the echo, “To see magic. This is why we are here.”

“And… just exactly where is here?!?”

I begin to answer and then begin to question why I invited her. “A very good question…” and continue ahead to what I hope will become an opening.  

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There is nothing quite like the childlike curiosity we hold inside. The anxiety of pushing forward with new ideas, until that moment arrives ~ our heart rate slows and we unearth something new, something enchanting.

“I’m beginning to understand you never have a plan do you?” another question rings back my way.

Shuffling of hooves on the rocks above remind us we are not alone.

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“Not real sure any plan worked out the way I had imagined, so why bother…” is my quick reply, seconds ahead of another sting of a hiking pole on my backside.

I scramble up and around a set of boulders and come face to face with a familiar friend.

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Nature never ceases in its pursuit of change; never fears a new challenge change may bring. The sky and the sunshine call out to us all, “You are not alone, the universe is with you the whole way.”

A breathless gasp comes from behind, and her arm wraps around me along with a whisper “this place is so beautiful…”

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Take away expectations, lose the fear of change and get lost in the world. There is no greater truth: time is fleeting, never stop.

“Be the change.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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70 Comments on “Time is Fleeting, Never Stop

  1. Time IS fleeting Randall, love your friend’s thought. And loved the Einstein quote which I cannot believe I’ve never heard before! Most importantly though, I loved your post – as always. Your photography is always excellent but I think this post has some new favorites for me – you’ve captured the goats in sunlight perfectly throughout – perched on the precipices as are we. My fondest memories are definitely those of the challenges and fears I’ve faced and conquered – nothing like risk/reward to get the heart pumping. Hope it’s going well for you out there in your new environment – hoping to see more of it soon!

  2. I too find ‘comfort in the chaos’ and if getting lost got you these photographs and a hug instead of a poke then all’s not lost 🙂

  3. Wonderful to read you again and see your awesome photos, Randall.
    Change is the one constant in life. Time is fleeting and you are taking control.
    I once read “Life choices,life changes” by Dina Glouberman.
    Now I prefer to read “Tempus Fugit” by Randall Collis. 😉

  4. Wonderful photos. Interesting to read an Einstein quote similar to what I tell couples when they can’t seem to understand what they think they have the power to change won’t and what they believe won’t change will.

  5. Lovely photos and beautiful inspiring words accompanying them. A beautiful post to end my week.

  6. What a nice surprise at the end of the day! Thank you so much for these stunning pictures and for this powerful story!
    Best wishes to you!

  7. wow , wow and wow, don’t know which I liked the best.. colours are so vibrant

  8. Stunningly beautiful photos Randall. Thanks for sharing your passion for photography and living with adventure. Never stop; unless you find a new fun passion/purpose! 🙂

  9. A timely and important post Randall, as many feel lost in these uncertain times. Your story telling is beautiful and you express so well, our universal fears when we are faced with change and uncertainty. Each time I accept and allow uncertainty in, I am always led to new beginnings that expand my life on many levels. Keep expanding into unknown Randall, it is a gift to us as well. 🙏🏻

  10. Perhaps it’s what pushed me to Oregon… change in the weather (today it’s happening from one minute to the next) and the constantly shifting surf… not to mention topography. Change both physical as well as metaphysical is good. Scary perhaps, but helps to push the stifling envelope. Continue on! and keep the words and images flowing our way. 😀

  11. Change is the nature itself. We like to play push and pull with change or with time. Sometimes we want do not want any change, we want to freeze time. At other times we want time to move fast , we could not wait any moment longer or instance change.

    “From the moment we are born, adventure turns fear into wisdom, sparking curiosity to discover.” This sentence exactly reminds me of my long time friend who loved to get lost. For him, getting lost is the way to learn paths. Lost is itself the discovery.

    Great and great pictures; Stunning! I like your mountain friends. It must be great to meet a friend that have mutual understanding by just looking at each other eyes.

  12. within chaos you can’t be found, for you are not lost.. perhaps you are riding the wind to catch a glimmer as time passes you by

    beautiful photographs Randal, as always a visual journey for us to take through your thoughts
    Thank you
    Take Care…You Matter…
    mary

  13. Hello Randall,

    So happy to see your latest post this morning. As always you never cease to amaze with your breathtaking photos and writing. In Japanese we have an expression 一期一会 (Ichi-go, ichi-e) literally meaning one opportunity, one chance. I feel you are living this moment- and yes, there is the “price” to pay in that there may not be a “safety net” when taking the big leap. But for me personally, I’d much rather take the chance… 🙂

    It is a coincidence that I’m on the verge of making that leap of faith, of leaving my comfort zone (yet again). So I feel great inspiration from your story too! Please do let me know if you stop by Japan. I think hubby would also enjoy meeting you. And, many nice places to make photos.

    Best,
    Takami

  14. Loved the post and the photos are as always amazing ! Relate to the post 100%…convincing myself that wanting change and being restless to explore is natural and rotting is not a option one should choose. Time is fleeting and we move along with time…

  15. Time will never cease to turn regardless of whether we are where we want to be or not, and hard as it is disappointing, sometimes what we hope and fight for fail to live up to our expectations. But we wouldn’t know it if we wouldn’t embark on that journey, right? You have been very bold in your pursuit for adventure and happiness, Randy. I envy your courage but I am more envious of how you build yourself well through the years to not let this notion of impermanence and atrophy tear you apart, how you turn experiences into worthwhile lessons. Your not-so-young follower here will always loved your wisdom and I always look forward to what you will share in your adventure in Czech. 😊

  16. HI Randall, Very nice to see a post from you. Another stunningly beautiful collection and I love your goat which struck me as a talisman. Your images along with your narrative have made my day richer. Hope you are doing well.

  17. Your wise words and breath taking photos are a constant. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  18. Breathtaking pictures Randall, so happy to see your exquisite photography after a long gap. Hope all is well.
    I kept wondering who is ‘she’ in your reflections…your inner voice or a real character, inspiring you! Loved that goat, precariously placed as if she is posing for you. I like your inspiring message too – ‘Time is fleeting, Never stop’…well said and perfectly portrayed.
    Stay blessed dear friend and keep inspiring.

  19. The white photo of the goat is sublime. Comfort in chaos. Welcome home. I had to smile at the part about “plans”. Woe to those who don’t have one! 😃 May the magic of surrender shine a light on your path.

  20. Words blended with images that tell a story once again; both so sharp, so on point. It is so true that change and unpredictability is the only constant in life. One day we are someplace, another day we are another place else altogether. Often we can’t control where we’ll be or what we’ll happen tomorrow. As you alluded to, the least we can do is roll with the punches and take it in our stride. Agree with your take on expectations. Ever since I let go of the expectation that I had to finish writing my first book, I have never felt so much more free. More time to be open to opportunities that come my way, more time to hit the road 🙂 Expectations provide a platform for us to work towards our goals, but to stick on that path for so long, that’s when we get stuck in a routine.

    Interesting you bring up that Einstein quote about men and women. Just the other day someone said that to me. Goes to show we all want different things in life. There will be change, and not all of us will agree.

    What you have showed us through this post, if we fully live a certain experience, be present in the moment and feel it, when we daydream we can go back to that place and remind ourselves what truly makes us happy – and fade away from reality for a bit… 🙂 A little fun never hurts 🙂

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  22. First of all, your photos are so sublime I can feel the warmth of the sun as well as the coldness of that waterfall. I love Maya Angelou’s quote, for today many people seem to seek instant results without caring much about the process one needs to take. As always Randall, your words reverberate through our minds, hearts and souls.

  23. The photos are really beautiful and the writing is inspiring, Randall. To keep changing and never staying still or stuck is a good aim. Good luck in always moving forward. Seems you kept running into that mountain goat, ha.

  24. The brilliant colors of your photos are a gift to my soul. I love the wisdom that sparks your conversation with the unnamed friend. I’ve been having a hard time lately with change on so many fronts. This week somehow I pulled back and focused on the small things of life that are a constant amidst change. I am happy.

  25. Beautiful photographs and reflections. I hope you have settled in Czech, but Rocky mountains will always be your comfort zone in the best sense of the word. Your mountain goat photographs are splendid. There is a bond between you and these beautiful creatures, and silent conversations take place, no doubt 🙂
    Albert Einstein quote makes me smile. He had a healthy sense of humor 🙂 Expectations bring disappointment because they set limits.
    Thank you for sharing this beauty and your thoughts. Wishing you limitless miracles on your journey.

  26. Inspiring us to see more…even though standing still. Whispering images of encouragement across our eyes and through our hearts with your captures of places…and with your words. You have restored a special place in our desires to realize dreams and keep dreaming. Perhaps I should just speak for myself and not the “others”…I can assume however that we all wish you well in your newest life journey. Safe travels, Randall…see you at The Rodeo. Raye

  27. Excellent post, the photographs are stunning dear Dalo. The goat by the cliff is a priceless moment you managed to capture with your lens ✨🔱 Congratulations … Love and best wishes.

  28. Stunning. Wonderful to see on a wet winter’s day 🙂

  29. I like your style – inspiring, interesting and original!!! Well done dear Dalo! I enjoyed as always. Have a lovely days in 2017! Bye. Kamila

  30. Your eye is getting more expansive, while internally you are more narrowly focusing – exceptional results in both arenas!

    As always, it is a delight to look over your shoulder. May both of you take care 🙂

  31. This is such an incredible, beautiful and deeply thought provoking post as always. Yes time is fleeting! Seize the day…carpe diem! Those are the words that always ring deep inside my heart. I love your take on change. So many people cannot change due to fear or other responsibilities. I too long to wander and explore. I love and dream to be searching, pondering, thinking and getting lost. But for now, my dreams must await a bit as I still have two children to raise….hence my wanderlust gets little ups and downs until that time. yet as much as I long to have the freedom to fly and travel, I also don’t want to wish my time away as yes time is fleeting. I am embracing living in the moment, at the moment, each and every day. Thank you for such a beautiful post.

  32. I always miss your posts .. and then you appear again, with your beautiful images, wise words and journeys. I could fall into your photo of the sun dropping below the mountain .. and stay here! Time is fleeting …

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