Some Thoughts About Time…

“Lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin

Everything comes down to time.  It is the very stuff of life; the warp and the weft.  The only things we truly have are: our bodies, our energy, and our attention; and all three of these exist within that box of delights we call ‘time’.

If you’re aware of this homespun truth already then it likely informs your most every decision; if you remain unaware… well, you will probably come to it at some point, and I pray for you that it is not at too late an hour, when the clock is already striking twelve and the sand is all but run dry.

When I lived in London I met an photographer holding her very first exhibition.  She told me she had recently gone ‘all in’ on photography.  When I asked her why, she told me this story:

She had been with her boyfriend in a jeep traveling overland across the blistering outback of Australia when, miles away from anywhere they happened upon an old man trying unsuccessfully to change the wheel of a broken down Landrover.  It was a truly impressive machine but, try as he might, the old man was not able to loosen the wheel nuts.  The heat had been intense.  They stopped to help.  While her boyfriend was changing the wheel she had struck up a conversation with the old man, asking how he had arrived in this somewhat precarious situation.

It turned out that it had been the lifelong dream of him and his wife to make an overland trip across and around the whole of the Australian outback.  They’d both worked jobs they didn’t like, saving all the money that they could and foregoing holidays each year, all the while planning their perfect journey.

‘The holiday of a lifetime’ he had called it, looking down at the ground and scuffing one foot in the dust.

Finally the day was come.  They had the best equipment money could buy and a pair of first class tickets.  On the flight, they had sipped champagne, as giddy as children.

The problems had started the very first night.  They had driven out and pitched their ‘top of the line’ tent.  But his wife’s arthritis had instantly flared up, and the humidity didn’t agree with his lungs, so sleep would not come.  From there on things had only gotten worse.  So much worse that by the end of the first month his wife had given up on their dream, changed her ticket and flown home without him.  He had stubbornly vowed to complete the trip but admitted that he was having second thoughts about it.  ‘I miss my wife and, if you two hadn’t come along I honestly don’t know if I would have been ok’ he told them quietly as they were getting ready to leave.

It had come on fast, like a rush of cold water, as they were driving away and watching him recede downcast in their rear view mirror; her heart had broken a little and, in that exact moment, she’d decided to give photography (the thing that she had always secretly wanted to do but had always put off until ‘later’) a real shot.

Every decision is a trade off.  What you choose to focus on will determine the very shape your life and your character; for good or for ill.

Everything, everything comes down to time.

So come now, do not delay;

It is much later than you think.


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88 Replies to “Some Thoughts About Time…”

  1. It is really a bliss to read your articles and blogs. You portrayed the story abovr so beautifully that I was able to imagine the whole scenario. Waiting for more such stuff from your side! This made me think twice about the things and give them a try, which I left on to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Time lives parallel to me, I do believe I have a Haiku coming on (now published because of reading this blog post).
    I must say that even when I forget the truth: I have never made a wrong choice, an incorrect decision… in all my life so far, because it got me to this point. Be careful with unquestioned thoughts, they are the dangerous ones.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Love this! Time is finite, even if our dreams are infinite. This post really resonates with me; I’m at a stage right now where the choices I make may be unknowingly life-altering. “Every decision is a trade-off.” Maybe some dreams are worth the risk of a bold move. The only thing worse than the burden of mistakes is the curiosity of what might have been.

    Like

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks for linking to my article. I’d be grateful if you removed the ‘By Ntmdude’ tag from the post tho – as it looks like you are claiming attribution for my work. (I realise that this is probably just a quirk of your wordpress template.)
      Glad you liked the article, thanks for helping it to spread.
      Be well,
      – J

      Like

            1. TRUTH is SINGULAR all others are versions or some would say mistruths. We all hold a portion of the truth and a portion of the deception. The gift of discernment allows us to see what is what. It is then that we can do away with division we cancome together and share what is in common in truth and have true fellowship with each other.

              Like

          1. “Ok” as in Ookaay! this guy is out there? Or “Ok” as in he is confirming something that has been revealed to me within myself? Or ” Ok” what is this guy talking about? Or okay this guy is freaking me out right now?
            Or “Ok” as in Oklahoma ?

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this, J. As I read through I had visions in the background of your words . . .perhaps time is the shape of giant wings, unfolding . . . If we spread into her just right, we reach forever each moment and lift all that we are, hearts and skin and breath and light, higher and higher across an endless sky. 🙂

    Much love, dear one. ❤

    P.S. May I please have that beautiful clock?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are everything bright in this world, friend. I am doing well, save for missing you. 🙂 Let’s chat soon. Thank you, my poetry holds me up and tucks me in, but you know this. Always. x
        P.S. Yay! How’s Thursday for you? 😉

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        1. Not everything, surely? 😉
          Definitely. I am in Berlin for a bit, but when I get back I would absolutely love to.
          Today is, fairly awesome. Tho it is Tuesday where I am, where in the world are you?
          Big hug, big kiss, xx

          Like

  7. Ahhh James….your piece resonates with me for like countless others I too have ignored time and have thought long and hard about more than a few choices to be sure! I remember my final year at university after our final journalism exam…sharing a few pints with our professor. At one point he asked us each in turn what we thought we were best at. As most said their written word I said that singing was what I did best. The table got quiet. One of my fellow students wagered a bet. Prove it! he said and put 50 bucks down on the table. So I walked up to the band….asked them if they could help me out, proceeded to make good on the bet. I won the bet but more than the excitement of the win was the curious reaction of my professor. He jumped up asking me Why have you wasted so much time my dear?! At first I laughed it off but then he persisted with it and told me that I should make haste because Time Waits For No One.
    It is many years later and I can still recall his urgency. As I had my starts and stops with trying to attain my dream it has been a hard learned lesson. And so our paths are often not lineal but more meandering for some and that’s okay too. I find myself happy to know that I accomplished a lot of things other than my dream but that there is peace in the knowledge that the dream is still alive and enriched by everything else life has thrown into the mix. Time may wait for no one but we are too quick to lean towards regret instead of reflection or even introspection. Would I go back in time and tell my younger self to change things? I don’t think so….I take solace in the experiences – good and bad – for it makes me…well me! I am just happy to know that someone as young as yourself has learned the lesson so early. Perhaps you are an old soul who knew the value of time all along! Thanks for this piece. As always, provocative. Slainte!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a beautiful story in it’s own right.
      It is a fine thing that you actually know what you want to do – this is at least some of the battle.
      They say ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and, with this, I do not disagree. 😉
      Thankyou for writing to me, much love, big hug,
      – J

      Like

  8. Just minutes before I read your post, I was reading the following paragraph in a little Penguin Book:

    “The scenes in our life resemble pictures in a rough mosaic; they are ineffective from close up, and have to be viewed from a distance if they are to seem beautiful. That is why to attain something desired is to discover how vain it is; and why, though we live all our lives in expectation of better things, we often at the same time long regretfully for what is past. The present, on the other hand, is regarded as something quite temporary and serving as the only road to our goal. That is why most men discover when they look back on their life that they have been living the whole time ad interim, and are surprised to see that which they let go by so unregarded and unenjoyed was precisely their life, was precisely that in expectation of which they lived.”

    (Arthur Schopenhauer, “On the Vanity of Existence” on Essays.)

    I thought I’d let you know it was clear to me that Schopenhauer and you had shared a cup of tea earlier on, and arrived to the same conclusion. I am glad you were both generous enough to share with us this truthful piece of wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou very much for this.
      Yes, I often have Schopenhauer round for tea, tho he is sometimes a very cranky guest 😉
      I love the passage you have quoted, it’s one of my faves, did you find it in the ‘great ideas’ series, or in the standalone Essays book?
      Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to read and comment which, by your words here, you understand the worth of 😉
      Be well,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, at least if you make him really unhappy with your choice of tea biscuits, he’ll be forever grateful with you. 😉

        It’s the ‘Great Ideas’ one. I have a few titles from this collection of little books, I really like them; they are just the right size to keep in your pocket and take with you just in case you need a sip or two of wisdom throughout the day… although the paper they are printed on is not great for writing or drawing, but, hey…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I like them too. I think they are (no pun intended) a great idea 😉
          Thanks for this, and thanks again for responding, hope this finds you well,
          – J
          P.S. Apologies for the tardiness of this reply, I’ve just arrived home from a trip to Berlin and have been off the web.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. it reminds me of an old man I met in Switzerland. He had the same case. He even wants to believe in karma and the concept of reborn, and swear to make it right in another life. It expresses just how deep his regret is.
    I can’t think of anything good to say to comfort him. It’s so heart-breaking to see him regretting his mistakes.
    I used to think that it’s never too late to try. But now I may add that, “but it’s hard to win against the time.”

    Liked by 1 person

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