by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbattuta: (adv.) a musical term meaning to return to strict tempo.

Sometimes I think life should be more musical–not in the sense of bursting into song while you’re waiting for your meatball sandwich at Subway, but musical in the sense of flourishes in timing, with exciting melodies and enhancing harmonies. Music grants you the ability to suddenly play very fast. And then … you can abattuta! Return back to your strict timeframe.

Life is not that way. It takes sixty seconds to make a minute, an equal number of minutes to make an hour, and twenty-four of them eventually make a day. Wouldn’t it be great if you had some sort of control–like a conductor’s baton–to make certain portions of your daily composition go quicker?

In other words, when you go to the dentist and he’s drilling on your teeth, you could increase the tempo–get out of the chair with a flourish. And then, as you were allowing the Novocaine to wear off and you stop at that Steak and Shake to reward yourself with a delicious chocolate-marshmallow milkshake, you could slow the tempo w-a-a-y down, allowing the ooey-gooey to eek its way down your throat.

You could speed up church services and slow down romance.

You could accelerate the interchanges you have with your children to confirm that you’re a good parent, and slow down the ending of the game, which finally, for a change, is actually close and interesting.

Maybe that’s the whole problem–life is too abattuta. Because when we try to relish moments, the clock frowns at us and continues its steady pursuit of strict formality.

Yes, clocks are like that. Still, I will search for a way to freeze moments so I can enjoy them even more as they thaw out. And I will hum songs and think happy thoughts to speed through those activities that are truly grueling and boring. Yet I know there will always be the abattuta to taunt me back to the mature notion of remaining in strict time.

I guess I never saw God as the conductor of an orchestra. To me, He’s more like the guy who plays the triangle. He lets the symphony ensue, but every once in a while, inserts his two-note passage that seems to make all the difference in the world.


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