Monday, January 23, 2012

Preciousness of Time

'Time' was the subject of the poet's random thoughts in his recent column in the Catholic Times. Though he reminds us "... not to squander time for that is what life is made of, " he admits that to his shame he can't rid himself of the thought that 2/3rds of his time is squandered.

Time has not always been squandered for there are  times he has lived with great enthusiasm. These times are the oases in the desert, he says. He looks  back on periods of relief and light, which come from enthusiasm--the only thing that saves us from the  vanity of life. There is nothing like enthusiasm. he claims, that can give us  satisfaction and peace. Are there any recollections in life that give us more sweetness than those periods of enthusiasm experienced in the past? he asks.

We live in a place called time. Quoting from the words of the wise: Place has been united with time. That is the fourth dimension, he says,  seen by the wise of the past. Life is living  in the place of flowing time.

From these thoughts on time he has made a discovery.  'Possibility' has to do with the future and not the past. The quantity of time is also extremely important; the possibilities of 10 minutes with that of 10 years can't be compared.
The greatest possibility that a person can envision is birth. This may be why we look at a new-born baby with such awe and reverence. Time spent looking back into the past, as many of us do, will not, he reminds us, give us any possibilities. And at death, the entrance into quiet and peace, all possibilities end. Isn't this, he asks, a reason for our tears?

"The time that remains for me is my life," he muses. "It is the container in which I put my life's work. What kind of life do I want to put into that container? What I will put in that container will be the art of my life. It will be my destiny." This, he says, he can't change. Even if he tries to run away from it, this very running away will be a part of his life.

He finishes with the words from Ecclesiastes: "Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity!" It is hard to have a better description of life, he says. But at the same time he believes this tragedy can be turned into a beautiful masterpiece. This is the profound law of life that will be lived out in the mystery of time. Happy Lunar New Year!

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