Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Time is running out on the clock. The hours are mere seconds away.
In this deprivation, I ask, “WHAT IS TIME?”
We measure our days in time, in seconds, minutes and hours. According to exactlywhatistime.com there are various short definitions proven by physics such as Albert Einstein. The definitions may seem incomplete, but time is never really a comprehensive orgy. Here is some of the definitions listed on the website:
- what clocks measure (attr. to physicists Albert Einstein, Donald Ivey, and others)
- what prevents everything from happening at once (physicist John Wheeler and others)
- a linear continuum of instants (philosopher Adolf Grünbaum)
- a certain period during which something is done (Medical Dictionary)
- a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
To be honest, all these definitions make sense. We use time to schedule our lives. You work from nine to five. You plan to go out at eight. We use time to measure our days. Time is consistent. Every millisecond is precise. Every hour lets the clock scream as time seem to run out or joyously celebrate another hour gone by. I remember when I was a child, I would visit my grandma. In her living room, there was this clock. At every hour, it had this ding-dong sound to indicate what hour it was. Time is given to us as deadlines – dead: time is given to us from our birth to your death; deadlines: time is used to preserve order, assurance and deliverance, and writer’s block. I hate to write in a time controlled environment. I am forced to suppress my thoughts and ideas without developing any creative concepts, but rather ideas that seem concrete and justifiable. I have read along the way that there is no time in space. I don’t know if it is true, but imagine for a moment that time didn’t exist.
I had a dream this morning. It was nine o’clock. Time ran marathons around me. I had to run against time to save whatever it was I had to save. I can’t really remember the whole dream, but I remember feeling anxious as time would run out and life will surpass me. We all run this marathon against time and life. No one is immortal and can beat this life. There is an eternity to try, but we will never exceed. Or perhaps we just need an Albert Einstein who would dare to tempt fate and time and life. We need someone who will fight for science and physics and the wonders of the world. Is that perhaps you? When I woke up out of this dream, it was barely seven o’clock. Time wasn’t speeding along on the highway, yet it felt like it. Have you ever felt that time moves faster when you are asleep than when you are awake?
There is a lot of theories and philosophies about time. I am peculiarly interested in the modern philosophies where no one wants to admit the existence of time.
This philosophy believes that only the present is real (thus calling it presentism), while the view that all points in time are equally “real” is referred to as eternalism.
Presentism would ultimately erase our history. No more Apartheid. No more Cold War. No more Nazis and Hitler. This philosophy rules out any past or future, but thrusts on the present. You ought to live for today, and not for tomorrow, nor for yesterday. “Thus, according to presentism, only present objects and present experiences can be said to truly exist, and things come into existence and then drop out of existence.”
Lady Antebellum sings this song called “I was here”. With presentism in mind, can you leave your mark on earth, in life? I recently encountered a lot of references to leaving your mark and the human’s desperate desire to be remembered and their frantic fight against immortality. I have read stories and poems, heard songs and viewed paintings that all scream their creator’s aspiration to life (or to die). Every one of us long to a sense of belonging and identity. We ought to admit it to ourselves that we are mortal beings that will be born into a life that is not all moonshine and roses, that we will live and that we will die. It is the circle of life. Vincent van Gogh never painted to leave a mark, or that is what I think. He painted because it was his passion. He wasn’t recognised for it – for I brilliancy and genius at the time. It was only after his death that his work got the appreciation it deserved. Perhaps, you are struggling and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps, you need time which life refuses to give you. Perhaps, you are reading this to comprehend time and life and your situation.
Our society has put a curse on time, describing it as a burden, when we should in fact be expressing time in the love we give, in the moments we create, in the quality and quantity of things that we do.
The late Whitney Houston described eternity as moments of overcoming fears, becoming your dream and to embrace your destiny.
“I want one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I’m racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity”
I will feel eternity…
In that one moment of time…