The Persistence of Time

“Time it could have been so much more
Time is precious I know
And time has nothing to show
Because time won’t give me time
And time makes lovers feel like they’ve got something real
But you and me we know we’ve got nothing but time
And time won’t give me time
”—Culture Club, “Time (Clock of the Heart)” (1982)

Deadlines, payment dues, deliveries, medication, schooling, games, running, rushing, schedules, loans, salaries and bonuses, being pregnant, giving birth and the process of it, anticipation, waiting, meeting someone, sickness and health, resting, growing old, birth and death, length of a song, an ode, mourning, whatever differentiates a clip from a full-length movie, a stint, and so on and so forth.

What do all the words written above have in common? They all refer to time.

What exactly is time?

In my opinion, time is a natural occurrence perceived by humans in the effort to measure one’s existence (and subsistence). Because of this, after repeated experimentation and logical observation–and as humans eventually became obsessed with the concept of time as well as its passing—clocks were invented. The said contraption developed through the years into mechanical pieces such as the ones we use today.

Technically, time is defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience” (Wikipedia).

Time remains a mystery.

Life, throughout the centuries, has adapted to the concept of time in a somewhat whimsical manner by the actualization of various events that may have made one person somehow be in a doubtful, or sometimes regretful, position. Consequently, the varying effect of time to certain people in different situations make them question the very core of time’s existence itself.

“Timing is everything” could be an expression of a joke, a comment, an opinion, or a role in a play. Timing also applies to a person being in the right place at the right time, or vice-versa, so to speak. A person will not bang a gong while a congress is ongoing just for the heck of it. He waits for party time at the dance hall.

A father ordering roast-beef sandwich at a local eatery who senses that his order is “taking time” will opt to “kill time” at a nearby music shop as he himself loves music. He was able to chance upon two rare CDs at an opportune time!

It may be a wise move to call delivery so as to “save time” and eventually meet certain deadlines by not having personally to go out for drive-through. A commendation is slated to be served at the soonest General Assembly.

A patient on a deathbed appears to be “losing time” as the electrocardiogram pulsates slowly. Relatives from near and far gather around as if in a reunion. Once a person loses time, this is never found again.

For a lover and his love, who are miles and miles apart, the struggle is real. “Time is the longest distance between two places,” as they tend to wait until such time they can be together. After all, if love were true—and the intents and goals pure—then love transcends both “distance and time.”

A brilliant friend, who was wrongly accused and misjudged by his closest friend three years ago, forgives the person but will not forget the situation; but then “time heals all wounds.” We grow when we let go. We heal…in time.

During a difficult written exam, staying calm and “taking the time” to answer the questions help the person succeed. He then receives the professional license that he was longing for.

A Human Resources personnel “gives time” to a potential hiree to contemplate on the irrefusable job offer. A handsome salary is designed and will give her a brighter future.

A convicted murderer “serves time” inside a penitentiary for the crime that he has committed. He waits patiently for the time he can be granted parole.

Overall, no matter what our respective experiences in life may be, we don’t have the power to stop time. We can only attempt to slow it down by investing in it. Time is of the essence. We should choose only the things that we enjoy. And do the things that make us happy. After all, we are the masters of our fate and the captains of our souls.

All the rest account to none.