Thursday, July 30, 2009

13 minutes to go

I usually blog during lunch - it's less frowned upon you see; but some days I read the paper, or a book, or go for a wander. Today, I have done none of these things and yet haven't blogged (yet). I have just 13 official minutes left to write about something and I can sense these parcels of time slipping through my fingers.

Time is a funny thing isn't it? This time last week I was back at home in Cornwall enjoying a nice pasty lunch with my brother and mother; all the time I was at home, eking out the last days of my obligatory two weeks off, I was conscious of trying to really appreciate the lack of work, of being able to wake up when I chose and generally just being at home in the countryside, miles from the reality of everything else; yet I knew it was futile, knowing time was on it's way, in its 'winged chariot, hurrying near'.

That's the thing isn't it - when time is precious it seems to hurtle by, when it's not, it just plods dutifully on; the time between each snooze alarm is surely the shortest time in the world? Yet to a night-worker waiting for that last 10 minutes to pass, it must be the longest. Einstein was more of a philosopher than he realised (or perhaps he did realise).

How can you stop time doing this to you? Accept it or ignore it? Come to enjoy the dull ache of dragging yourself from your bed as just another sequence of seconds to be lived through? Or should you just make your millions as quickly as possible in order to retire and spend your time getting up at whenever-the-hell-you-like o' clock?

And yet...when you do have unending time on your hands, you become restless, tired, lethargic, frustrated, all for the want of something to do; a reason to wake and rise and head out - feeling your own time is being wasted through inactivity; the very flip side of that feeling of being forced to wake everyday with regularity at 7:20am. Why fight time?

Time though is not real. We have invented it. Terms like 'noon' and 'quarter past six' are words imposed on the positions of planets and stars. That's all it is. A way to agree upon the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun so we can make sure we are at the correct place at the correct time. We need to know when to meet trains so we had to invent these terms sooner or later I suppose.

And that was my 13 minutes of blogging; you can write a lot in 13 minutes - a blog that talks about time and Einstein and trains (how relatively relevant) - but time ticks on and so even as I wrote it passed on to 13:59. Soon it will be 17:30, then 22:59, then 13:00 once again and then Christmas, then the Olympics om 2012, and then...and on it goes.


What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Philip Larkin

1 comment:

Jon Severs said...

I applaud the use of Larkin, a man for every moment