Monday, 11 February 2013

Time

What is time? I won't venture to answer this question. Scores of philosophers and physicists have been meditating, researching and writing about time and haven't come to a unanimous conclusion. We can measure time, that's true. The movement of the earth indicates roughly the fixed points of our time scale: years, seasons, days. In the end, time depends a lot on our personal points of view, though. Perception of time is individual and contextual.

Time is creeping, time is running, time is flying. It can be described with many different verbs, but they have one quality in common: they are verbs of movement. In fact, time is always heading forward, never standing still although there can be moments that feel as if it were and others when we would wish it to. We also can't turn back time however much we would welcome it on certain occasions. Time travels keep being the realm of science fiction... and of nostalgists.

Some of us actually manage to live in the past. It's the memory of certain events that chains them. Recollections of happier days or of endured hardships keep spinning round and round in their minds without end. Past, present and future merge into one despite calendars and clocks. The remembered facts may long be past, but the emotions linked to them are a result of the moment. Nostalgists mentally relive their experiences to the point that they forget about their bodily existence in the present.

Others are living in the future. Their minds get absorbed in often elaborate ideas of what their life will be like. Making plans for themselves and for others is their favourite occupation. We all know such people. They always talk about what they will be doing some time... and never do. They always talk about what will be some time... and never is. It's as if they get lost in their dreams and can't see the realities or the requirements of their present lives.

Most of us, however, are living in the here and now. At least most of the time. We do what needs to be done. If we pass our days with full attention to the moment, we can even experience something that is called the flow. All of us know the feeling that time has lost its power over us. Past, present and future don't just merge, they cease to exist, but we can see it only in retrospect when we realise that we passed hours on end with something that absorbed us.

Isn't it nice to look at the clock and to be amazed at how much time we passed with something or someone that we adore? Life can be wonderful!

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