Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Delmore Schwartz, Henry Austin Dobson, Henry David Thoreau, Leonard Bernstein, passage of time, time
Time goes, you say? Ah, no! alas, time stays, we go.
Henry Austin Dobson
Oh, Henry — I think time does go. I don’t understand where it goes, but it definitely goes. I spend an ironic amount of time thinking about time, and all the while its passage carries tasks and jobs and notes and deadlines and memories right down the river with it, and nothing I do will stop it. The things floating just out of my grasp are the things that are important to me, and they still float away. This is confounding.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
Henry David Thoreau
OK, this seems like a good idea… calming, centered. The speed feels right. But oh (another) Henry, this idea vastly underestimates the current’s ability to carry chunks of my life away, the things I try to accomplish.
I submerge myself into one aspect of my life to try to complete something, anything, and in the blink of an eye, months have gone by. I spend time — no wait, I invest time — in being healthy and happy with my life, my present. Being present. And before I know it, I discover something utterly discombobulating, such as my friend is quite pregnant and I did not even know it because even though her blog is on my short list of ones to read regularly, somehow until yesterday I had not read it since the end of August, which is unfathomable. Where did five months go? She finds time to keep blogging and grow a brand new human. At the same time. With four other kids. I don’t understand it.
Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.
OK, now this one is flippin’ frightening. It makes me want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. For a long time.
Time is money.
I suspect that Mr. Franklin would not get along well with Mr. Thoreau. Surely they would waste time squabbling; the philosophies are at odds. My head hurts when I try to think about both of their ideas at once.
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
OK, maybe we are on to something here. Not-quite-enough-time makes the minutes grow three sizes, plus two; somehow the hours can balloon open to hold a week’s worth of effort.
Of course, the theory only applies to the One Thing for which there was not-quite-enough-time, and meanwhile everything else goes to hell-in-a-handbasket and I wake up five weeks later to find the Christmas cards still on the dining room table, complete with 100 stamps and address labels and the address book. On January 15th. I don’t understand it.
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
And with that in mind, I’ll keep riding the tide. Please catch me if I float by you on my way to somewhere.
I enjoyed reading your different reflections on “time.” I thought I would add one more quote to the lot, and it is not from a Henry. Mick Jagger believes, “Time is on my side, yes it is.” See, it is not your enemy. It is on YOUR team!
Darrelyn Saloom said:
I love your new post. So glad you found the time to write it. 🙂
Jane Bretl said:
Thanks, Darrelyn. You always find the time to be kind. 🙂