– Have you ever laid down for a little nap, dreamed of an unforgettable epic adventure that lasted eons, just to wake up and find out that not more than fifteen minutes have passed? How about that friend that you haven’t seen in years, and when you both meet again, you remember exactly how things were back then, kind of releasing back from an unexplainable pause. What happens that every year seems like is passing faster and faster? Maybe someday we’ll find out that January leads straight to December? To answer these and many more questions, please kindly welcome tonight’s guest: Time, join us!
– Hello! Now you can safely say that Time has come for you. Not many have this pleasure.
– Well, I always thought that Time comes to everyone.
– I do, not always safely, though.
– Fair point. So, enough chitchat: let’s go straight to business. This has been a helluva year. Things moved so fast. Were you in a hurry?
– This is a common complaint I get from people, mostly those with crammed agendas, full of events trying to make the best of their time. In this sense, I believe that maybe Herrick made a mess, confused and instilled anxiety in many people’s heads.
– Herrick who?
– Robert Herrick, the american poet. He is especially famous for one funny-titled poem, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”. May I recite a stanza?
– We have all the Time, literally. Take yourself, I guess.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
– Poignant. Is that the Dead Poets Society one, the whole carpe diem thing?
– Indeed. This chap is trying to teach virgins how to make good use of me – let’s not go there, right – and it is doing so by setting an opposition to Death. Believe me, I have never had any quarrel with Death.
– Oh, me neither, what a lovely fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. I’ve had him here not long ago.
– Certainly charming entity/concept, that’s for sure. So, when you define me by saying that either you give me importance or you shall perish, that’s pretty heavy, you know? That’s a big burden. Not only at me, that’s also unfair do Death. But indulge me and try to see as I see it. Imagine someone you hold dear, someone you love. And there is this crazy notion that you will walk up to his or her house, point a fricking gun to his or her head and say “you either love me back or die”. How about that for true love? Can anyone see that as a legitimate affection?
– I know that is a rethorical question, but I would just like to stress that is about time I invite Love over, maybe in a couple years? I wish I had done it, actually, by now. That’s a bit sad, ain’t it?
– Trust me boy, I will be there, in my due course. I will fix it. May I continue?
– Absolutely. You were saying about the gun in the head kind of love.
– Right. So this is the love I get. This is the romantic notion of living your life, as a desperate attempt to curb your incoming demise. You all know that you can’t escape me and Death, and then you run, and you make your best to live a meaningful life – which is awesome by the way – and what I get is that. Just that. And is funny because is sort of a carrot-in-a-stick scheme, where you once were walking, trying to get to the carrot. But then you were afraid, knowing that you have a limited amount of time. You have then devised a treadmill, where you can run desperately towards your carrot, because you are afraid of me. You feel tired. There are many things to do, places to see, people to know and love to feel.
– But you’re not an inch closer to your carrot. You’re just closer to a permament state of anxiety and maybe a nervous collapse. You ran, and it didn’t take you any closer.
– Well, one of most pressing fears of the present day is the notion that someday you’ll wake up to find that more days have passed then are to come. That you depleted your time, you’ve been through the majority of your life experience. And I do not mean that in a nostalgic sense, but in a simply quantitative perspective. The number of hours left for you to live, at anyone’s life, go down from the moment you were born, that’s a given fact, right? I think that anxiety may not be ideal, but isn’t it unavoidable?
– You children fear my almighty powers while, at the same time, ignore my almighty powers. I am king – at least yours – because I am indeed inescapable. But I am by no means fixed, and I also am not Death. I change. I create. I present you the canvas in which you draw new lines for your own limits. I do not destroy. I maybe finish the old, but always bring you something new. I am fucking endless.
– Whoa, watch the language. I rationally understand what you say in principle, but I cannot see that translated in any practical reality whatsoever. Care to enlighten me a bit?
– That’s precisely my job, isn’t it? Imagine, for instance, that in a near future you humankind attain transcendence. That whole futurist notion that someday you fragile biological body will be disposable, and your mind will be, for example, downloadable. Your mind will be stored online somewhere.
– Alright, that’s a well stablished possible future scenario.
– So. I guess I won’t be that scary then, right? Your body won’t age, because there won’t be one. I will still be there, but not in this sense of anxiety. This whole culture of yours will have to adapt to the notion that I’m hardly the worst of your problems.
– You may be now – nothing personal.
– The principle is the same. Is just that the future will make it clearer for you, and for everyone, that the fabric of life is something other than fear. The denizens of the future may live longer, and their culture may have a different relation to me, but why can’t you live a better life, less cluttered with the urge to get to this carrot, to beat me. Why?
– I don’t know, and I really wish I did. How do you suggest we should face you, while our lives is a constant reminder, by everyone and even the nature, that Time is flying by, and maybe leaving us behind? That our parents are aging, the kids are growing. This notion that if we do not seize our days, we will be left empty, alone, miserable, drowned in failure. I understand every single word you said, but how do you expect for me to weave from those strings of thought a tapestry of life that allows me to react to ups and downs from my common days? Those boring days where nothing happens? The dismal, the bleak, the unispiring days. How to react?
– Trust me, my boy, there is not much for me to offer you beside that. I can only guarantee you that I will bring you new days, with new things. Some dismal, some flabbergasting. Some bleak, but also some shiny. Some unispiring for sure, some fiery and orgiastic. I’ve been with you when you discussed God, Death, and I will be with you talking about Love. You won’t be alone and we will see how things turn out.
– Don’t you ever get tired? I mean, of following our lives and see how and where we go, how many contradictions we fall into, how many monsters we battle and we become?
– Why would I be tired of doing the thing I was designed – or came into existance, I’m not sure – for? I am here as a harbinger of new things, and everything new is a bit new about me and a bit new about the world. I move for I am the essence of change.
– I’m very thankful for having you here, Time, it certainly added a new bit about me. I guess we’ll get back to this conversation.
– Maybe. But I’ll be here, that’s for sure, you can’t wait to see the shape of things to come. They are grand. Just watch me dance, and why not dance with me?