Friday, August 31, 2007

Like Sands in an Hourglass...

I saw this image on someone else's page, and thought I'd add it here as a good fit for Blog Time Passing. Our metaphors for time lead us to think of time as a thing that we can have, and use, and lose, a thing of value, a commodity that we can invest, save, spend, lend, borrow, and so on. And that is a terrible way to think about time. This image conveys the sense of time as the environment we live in, which I believe is a truer sense of time. It really is an invisible environment. But is it a trap? That's what this image suggests, and the hourglass as a concrete metaphor tends to suggest this, but there too we are mislead by the maps we make of a territory we cannot quite grasp.

And maybe to go with it, Shakespeare's Sonnet #60

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked elipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

Hey, I'm about to turn 50, I'm entitled to some wistful reflection...


Anonymous said...

Perhaps it all depends on whether or not one sees the glass as half full or half empty?

Lance Strate said...

it also depends on what the glass is full or empty of, though.