Time: no one really knows what it is but everyone wants more of it.
In its chamber of glass, time's mechanical finger whispers: "Nothing will stay. The earth will vanish; the sun will collapse. The child I see playing will grow old and grey. The beautiful will see their flesh decay; the greatest trees will rot and fall; the powerful will turn to clay. The names I recall today will be lost in the mists of memory. And everything will recede into the wastes of time".
Time asks us a clear and urgent question: what do we live for?
If eternity belonged to us, we could live an infinite number of lives and serve every cause – for a generation work as a philosopher, and then a clown, a judge, a writer, a physician, a metaphysician, a macro-economist, a micro-statistician, a banker, a beggar, a saint; love sensually and pray monastically; travel every village; tell every story; speak every language; cure every illness.
But humans are bound in time. Time forces us to choose, in spite of our minute understanding, what we value and give priority to. We are required to decide who we want to help and how – and carry it out the best we can. Some choices are better than others, and some may even resonate beyond the confines of a single life, connecting to a deeper, more enduring reality. We should all strive to live our lives as fully as possible, and help those we love escape, if only for a moment, the quicksands of time.
London, 30 May 2015
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