A Brief Rumination on Time

People speak of the building blocks of Time (or maybe it was me in one of my poems on Time), when they should really speak of the destructive hands of Time. Time shovels on, its sickle wasting away each day, separating the wheat of what you are meant to learn from the day’s passing moments from the chaff that oddly cushions but often hides the kernel of truth and wisdom that curries no pleasure with the gods because they are already in full possession of what we all live and suffer our way through to the ends of life to discover.


I see Time in the guise of a mantle-cloaked figure of apocalypse, wandering down an empty highway, a pocket watch hanging like a pendent from his fingertips, vacillating like the pendulum in a Victorian grandfather clock, whose almost imperceptible clicking in the foreign silence tears the heart with innumerable stabs of futility. And as he walks down the highway, the ground beneath him begins to disintegrate and fall away into the darkness, the void of earth, below. This is the movement, the passage of Time; as each step is taken farther and farther from your beginnings, from your youth, the past is born, a figure that grows larger and larger, looming with a thousand faces, each one terribly obscured in the continuous march of Time toward the inevitable end of days.


In the face of this figure, the life you have lived loses its hard edges; the interlocking curves and points, which used to connect so clearly and neatly one into the other, become worn and misshapen so that each moment we once harbored in the port of our memory is drowned in the grave of the sea that we doubly weep over, once for never being able to experience it a second time and then again because it has become tainted with these waters of oblivion. The greatest sin, the greatest sorrow, is that no moment can be lived again, no matter how pleasurable or how painful. The tread of Time down the highway of life leaves you with fragments, and only the miraculous vision of the heart, which has no knowledge or experience of clock time, can redeem the life of the mind and the spirit.

*Originally published in The Cud, an online new-perspectives magazine, June 2012.

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