Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Essence of Time

Yesterday I played golf after a sabbatical of nearly two years.
Since it was a sunny, pleasant day, and because I had been with a good friend
Whose company I have shared on many happy golf and skiing outings
I decided to mark the anniversary of the occasion on next year's calendar page
To discover that the day did not exist; that we had invented it;
A leap day, a fanciful figment devised by Man to correct his calendar
Which does not agree with the way the Earth swings around the Sun.
I'm not so sure that I agree with it either.

If we believe the scientists who look to prove there is no God
Then the light from certain stars has taken several billion years to reach their mirrors and lenses
And our eyes.
But if we believe Mr. Einstein, and had been commuting with that same packet of photons
During its long voyage through history, it would have taken us no time at all,
And on arrival we would be just as young as when we climbed aboard
A billion or so years earlier -- and most of the universe away.
Isn't that weird? Can the concept of a God be any weirder than that?

Don't even get me started on the current notion of String Theory
And the idea of universes that pop in and out of existence
As if someone had snapped his fingers.

There should be a law against killing time
But it could not be a premeditated crime,
For to plan to do so would involve the use of time
Which is not an act of killing it.
We are all given the same Earth, blue sky, and twinkling stars
But none of us is served the same plateful of time.

As my guests turn off their minds
And turn on the TV
I can't help but reflect on those who sit at death's door
And how eagerly they beg for just a few years more,
Or weeks, or even days, of quality time
In this realm of time we share and take for granted.

How meaningless, our temporal things,
A lifespan of shortfall,
We know not what tomorrow brings
If it should come at all.

(c) 2004, by Dalton Hammond

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