Time is a mystery.
Some say time is man-made, and does not really exist? There are however aspects of time that cannot be argued or manufactured. Time brings changes, it bring variations to perceptions, ideals, quality and also to understanding. Some things improve with time, while others deteriorate.
The picture we drew as a child may have been a wonderful piece of art in our eyes at the time of drawing, but if we are to view the same picture as an aging adult, we see the spindly uncontrolled sketch lines as naïve, infantile and frankly quite ugly. Time has changed us. Whether we are right to view our childhood art as quite so poor, is another matter, but the reality of time quite simply gives us a different perspective and, some might say, gives us an improved ability to redo the same picture simply because time has allowed us the experience and learning to do so.
‘Nothing stays the same forever’! As Heraklestos of Ephesus (535BC-475BC) puts it, “You cannot step twice into the same river.” In other words, the river has changed, even if your second step is only a very short period from the first.
Other than Copeland’s debut album, ‘Beneath Medicine Tree’, little reference to other origins of this saying could be found. It is however very true. Very simply; time changes everything! I am not the same person writing this article, I was, some minutes before. To start with I have become older, and the exposure to life I had some minutes ago will never return. That part of my life has gone forever and is a memory, something that has arrived and departed before I could even consider it in the ‘Present’.
It is here that time can be considered an illusion. There is no present, no present time, as the moment the future arrives, it becomes the past. There, I have proved it, that letter I have typed, was typed? The words you have read are already read. You can re-read if you want, but as you read, you create the past, a memory. There is no present? I may or might type the next letter, but the moment I may type becomes I am typing, it has already been typed.
There is no present in time. There is only a possible future, but there is no certainty of this, so, the only certainty is the reality of a definite past. The moment the future arrives, it is the past.
If there is no present, we cannot ‘be’. We have been, and if lucky enough, might ‘be’. The state of being, in other words the state of the present is an illusion. This leads to another point. If there is no present, then the tree we see ‘in the present’ is actually changing while we look. The tree is not staying the same. While we may not perceive difference, it is happening before our very eyes. We are watching the past evolve, we are watching history, and if we were to both live long enough, and watch long enough, we would only see the changes as the world turns around us. The moment a new leaf arrives, it has arrived, and is in the past.
Lewis J Rhodes
Mortality does not creep, it arrives!
It is a moment when, the road we travel,
Is shorter, than the roads left behind.
It is a moment when, the time we rise,
Gets closer to the time we rest.
It is a moment when, what we thought we did but yesterday,
Did actually happen in week’s past events.
Mortality is a time, when mistakes we made,
Seem clearer to our thoughts than successes gained.
It is a moment when, the world gets smaller,
And small things count, while big things seem to fade insignificant.
When the road we travel, is that road before,
On which we shared, and memories are now recalled.
Mortality is an awakening; the dusk of life becomes evident.
Mortality is the ‘what if’, of life’s intentions filled.
When words said, or actions done, our path would changes make.
It’s when we pass a place we were, and think, on things we did.
For what we were just moments then, and time we fleeting spent,
Become important as they rest indelible, memory, in recalled events.
It’s when the now is different from, what we were just then.
Mortality is that time, remnants of that gift, the gift that life had sent.