Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The concept of TIME has been on my mind a great deal recently. Time is so ephemeral and fleeting yet poets and artists have tried to give form, shape and substance to this idea for ages.

I suppose that our sense of time comes from the rising and the setting of the sun and the changing of the seasons. These two phenomenon are the most obvious manifestations of time. Does time exist in deep space where there is an absence of a rising and setting sun? There's no winter, spring, summer or fall in space just a constant night. But here, on Earth, we view time as a forward linear progression as we traverse the road between birth and death. We have this sense of forward momentum as we age over the years. In our youth time seems to be endless; as we get older we seem to be "running out of time." We even want to borrow it, "Can I have five minutes of your time?" I've asked that question on many ocassions yet my time never increases no matter how much of it I seem to borrow.

As Freemasons we view a twenty four inch gauge as being indicative of the twenty four hours of the day whereby we are told to apportion eight hours for God and humanity, eight for our vocation and eight for refreshment and sleep. Most Masons that I know operate as though they
have a forty eight inch gauge because they give so much to their community,
their family and to the Great Architect of the Universe.
Many indigenous cultures do not share a Western notion of time. For them time is an all pervasive soup that is a constant and it can not be divided into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or years.
The division of time into sub divisions is simply an arbitrary construct on which we collectively agree so that we can fashion some form of order out of chaos and randomness: we give form to that which is, essentially, formless.

And the songs, ahhhhh! The songs of the poets. There's TIME by Pink Floyd, Cyndi Lauper's TIME AFTER TIME, The Rolling Stones' TIME IS ON MY SIDE, The Chamber Brothers' THE TIME HAS COME TODAY and the Zombies' TIME OF THE SEASON. And lest I forget, Jim Croce's TIME IN A BOTTLE. Now there's a notion, what could or would we do with time if we could bottle time? Could we add it to our years and prolong our life? Probably not. Perhaps we would just hold the bottle up to the light and merely look at it, but then wouldn't that be a waste of time?

I remember the Astronomer Carl Sagan pointing out that, the total time that human beings have been on the planet Earth is equivalent to the hands of a clock that read 11:59pm; a clock that has been running for a full twenty four hours. Human existence is represented by that one minute before midnight: the Pyramids, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, Revolutionary War, World Wars I & II, Vietnam, Space flight have all taken place in that single minute before midnight. It is said that: No one can have a better past only a better future yet, what is past is prologue.

Over the past two weeks Time has called from labor Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Karl Malden and Natasha Mahelona. Perhaps it is because of their passing that I'm reminded of the transitory nature of time.

"Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say."
- Pink Floyd

Scribo Ergo Sum
Cliff "Jake" Jacobs
Have Pen, Will Write

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