Tag Archives: Time

some secondhand thoughts

saving time from what?
what unspeakable evil
is it that besets time
that it needs rescuing so?

time-saving aids are
promised us
as lifelines to
a better life

but what if I should
prove unworthy
and time should
perish on my watch?


how kierkegaard got his kicks

a life lived in reverse
ultimately makes
for far more
kicks

as what is yet
to become
should in
fact al-
ready
be

watch now how
time teaches

the leaf to
return to
the tree

the rose to
retract to
its bud

the wave to
rejoin with
the sea

the miracle of
repurposed
eternity


The Infinite Enemy

I.
Give me back my youth
You bastard, time
So I can feel again
The first flush of
Love unwearied
Return lost vigor
To my heavy limbs
And set afresh
The beating of
My hollow heart

II.
In cornrow circles
The Maypole maidens
Dance widdershins
To wrest back the cup
Of youth’s eternal Spring

III.
At snail’s pace would I
March to the beat
Of bastard time
For if the enemy is weak
It makes me weaker yet
To fight its hoary grip
At every step, I’d argue
Better to have fallen
By the wayside
Than to acquiesce
To this tyrant’s insane wish.


The Script of Ages Past

“I wish this day
Would never end”
We’ve all heard
Others utter it
Mostly in the “classics”
Which (of course)
Typically never are
Being instead
Hollywood reinventions
Of actual life
And trash television
Peopled by B-grade
Sepia-faded stars
But, even so
There existed a moment
Yesterday when I spoke
These selfsame words
Of wishful deferment
Out loud, for no one
In particular’s hearing or
Benefit, except possibly
My own, almost as if
Giving voice to a magic
Incantation filled with the
Power to prolong the
Sweet, bitter agony
To be found in
Clinging to a dream
As futile as trying
To hold the sun back
From exiting the sky.


Picturing the “Past Perfect” Perfectly

Photographs, like honeycomb
Cells capture sweet memories
Of static moments
Too fleeting to be digested
At the time of composure
A stolen glimpse of carefree
Indolence with friends
Or family gatherings
Around age celebrations or
Announcements of magnitude
Some milestone achieved
And happy, smiling faces
Making a show of bravery
Come what may
Secure in the knowledge that
Tomorrow never, ever will be
A mere facsimile of today.


To Every Thing There is a Season, and a Time to Every Purpose — So Let’s Give Kairos a Turn!

Most people are well aware of the word chronos, the term by which the Ancient Greeks referred to time. After all, chronos is still to be found in a whole range of words we use to this very day. Words like chronology, chronometer and synchronous even.

What’s interesting, though, is the fact that the Ancient Greeks also had a second term they used when referring to time. This alternative word was kairos.

The distinction between the two terms is that chronos was used to denote normal, sequential time, whereas kairos denoted “opportune time” or that moment when the time is “right”.

I don’t know about you, but it speaks volumes to me that we have lost this second meaning of time within our culture. Time has become a completely linear concept in our language. Much to our detriment, I would argue.

And so, what is my point? Well, my point is this: the time is ripe for us as a society to re-embrace the concept of kairos. We need to get more fluid with how we perceive time, more generally.

A call to arms for this repurposing of time, I feel, is perfectly captured in the Byrds’ cover version of Turn! Turn! Turn!, a song originally penned by Pete Seger from lyrics he lifted practically verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Please enjoy…

“Turn! Turn! Turn!”

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late!


Taking the Time to Take Things Nice ‘n’ Slow

"Punctuality is the thief of time"

“Punctuality is the thief of time” (Photo credit: tsukismama)

Time is an illusion. Sure, we’ve all heard it said before a million times. But today I’m challenging you to actually slow down and really think about what this statement means. So, tell me, can you spare the five minutes it’ll take for me to explain to you just what it is exactly I’m going on about?

Good. Well, first, then, in a purely philosophical sense, let me give you a working definition of what time actually is. Are you ready?

Ok, time is simply the clearly observable fact that everything we experience doesn’t happen all at once. Or if you want to put it another way, we experience our lives as being a series of sequential events rather than as an instantaneous happening.

Now, I’m not going to debate here whether this experience of sequential time is an illusion, although I suspect in all likelihood that it is. No, rather I’m going to instead focus on drawing attention to the completely arbitrary way we as humans divide up time as we perceive it.

At the outset, therefore, I feel the need to tell you that I personally don’t “do” time. I don’t wear a watch, I never check the clock and I ask people to refrain (wherever possible) from telling me the time.

This idea, of course. doesn’t belong to me alone. I was first introduced to the whole anti-time concept by Carl Honoré‘s The Power of Slow. And since listening to the spoken word version of said title over a year ago, I have tried to live without external time constraints ever since.

But why? you ask. Aren’t you neglecting your civil duty as a functional member of society to always know what time of the day or night it is?

My answer? I don’t care.

I refuse to go back to being a slave of time, not since I’ve committed myself to this choice of paradigm shift for so long now already. And anyway ultimately the benefits are too massive to give up.

Ordinarily, I’m a punctual person. Punctual to the point of compulsion, if I’m going to be honest about it. But without a watch to rule me, I’ve learnt to become more fluid in my approach to things. Where before I couldn’t stand to be even a minute late for anything, now it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

What’s more I used to demand the same level of punctuality from others, whereas now I don’t. Something which, I believe, has made me a much more easy person to get along with I’m sure. Beyond that, let me also confide in you that I used to suffer from insomnia. Whereas now I don’t, largely in part to the fact that I have no idea of the number of hours of sleep I get each night. Problem solved.

Obviously, there are still those occasions where time is of the essence. Our lives demand that sometimes we have no choice but to be at a certain place at a certain time. However, even in such instances I would still advocate an anti-time approach.

As a case in point, about a year ago, I was asked by an extended family member to drive them interstate for a course of medical treatment that couldn’t be obtained within the city we both lived in at the time. The family member was terminally ill and was unable to drive for the four hours each way it would take for him to get to the hospital appointment and back again.

Just like anyone else who might have found themselves asked to do the same, I said that, of course, yes, I was more than prepared to do this for the family member concerned.

Ok, so, typically I would have approached the whole trip as a kind of frantic mercy dash. I would have sped most of the way and sworn at each and every one of the inevitable delays that come with long distance driving.

But the revelation that occurred for me on this trip was that the usual stress I would place myself under in such circumstances is entirely a matter of time-based anxiety. Typically, I would be stressing the entire way that we were going to arrive too late for the possibly lifesaving appointment we were trying to get to. The whole time I would be frantically checking the clock and panicking that we weren’t going to make it.

By contrast, I didn’t look at the time once. Sure, I roughly knew from experience how long it would take to make the trip in question. But other than allotting the general amount of time necessary to cover the distance involved, I resolved to let the actual passing hours and minutes take care of themselves.

A risky move, when someone else’s health and future are a stake, you might say. Yet I had only just recently converted to the whole “slow movement” that Carl Honoré is a prominent exponent of, along with a few other high profile advocates of this same general call for slowing down society. And because of my being new to it, I suppose, I wished to test how powerful the “power of slow” really was in real life.

But what about the outcomes? What happened? Did we make it “on time” for the appointment? Yes. Yes, we did. Even after getting lost right at the end, I was told we managed to arrive with 20 minutes to spare, evidently.

And the appointment? Did it save the family member’s life? No. No, sadly, it did not.

But I still believe the trip illustrates a larger truth about life. Namely this, we are all ultimately headed for the same destination, but the way we choose to travel on our way to getting there is entirely up to us. We can spend all of our time stressing about how little of it we are allotted, or we can instead focus on deepening our bonds with our fellow traveling companions while we still have the chance.

Distilled down to its essence, another way of saying this is that life is about the journey, not the destination. So why hurry?

Ouroborus — Used by the Alchemists as a symbol for eternity, where the end is the beginning is the end is the beginning...etc

Ouroborus — Used by the Alchemists as a symbol for eternity, where the end is the beginning is the end is the beginning…etc. And therefore as a symbolic representation of the cyclical nature of time.