We can spend years, decades, putting our lives on hold or living them through the louder needs of others. We can waste precious time prevaricating and making excuses and saying, ‘Yes, I will do this one day – but now is not the right time…’
I know. I am infamous for it.
But all the time put by, hoarded for a life fully lived somewhere in the future, is precious seconds, minutes, hours and days gone, never to be reclaimed.
We fritter time away with frivolity because we do not truly believe we are mortal, even when those dear to us wither and fall off the tree of life. We pour time into poison bottles and place drops of it into our enemies’ drinks. We labour in the armament factories of grudge and feud, creating time-sensitive bombs and IEDs which we can then trigger, immediately or at a later date, in those devastating and pointless mutilating explosions of revenge and hatred.
We spin so much precious time into the webs of loathing and jealousy and fear and nastiness – rarely, if ever, thinking that we could be using our limited store of life in a more productive and creative way.
Our time on this earth is so short. Blink and we are gone. Yet, human arrogance and the intense need to have a them to provide darkness for our self-styled light-imbued us eats up a disproportionate amount of that never-to-be-reclaimed store of whirring time atoms.
I suspect that, for many of us, if some deity were to show us the Ledger of our Lives so far, with its neatly-ruled columns of Time Wasted and Time Fully Lived, we would be shocked, horrified and, probably, shamed. If we were to be vouchsafed a peep at the other book – the one nobody wants to own up to! – and its blunt detailing of Acts/thoughts of Love and Acts/thoughts of Hatred, we would be horrified and despairing.
The Duat – or however your religious/mythical beliefs wishes to see it – awaits us all one way or another. We can labour under the illusion of escaping time and the deeds we use it for whilst still living and breathing in time; but, once we pass to the other places, our manipulation of time, of the world and of other people, will be glaringly obvious upon the Great Blackboard of Reckoning.
I have turned my back upon time’s scythe on many an occasion, thinking that out of sight is out of mind is no longer in reality. I have squandered months – and the rest! I have made excuses rather than hearkening to action’s clarion call.
Time’s Wingéd Chariot waits for no man, and speeds faster than we may like. The phrase ‘If only…’ constitutes the saddest two words in any language. The Grim Reaper is no respecter of our human need to pile time up in the bank and save it for a rainy day which never actually comes. Death does not wait for those who have wasted parts of their life. We none of us get the chance to go back and make better use of time we ignored and reviled and laughed at and used as plotting space twenty years ago.
Time, like human beings, is finite – at least in the context of humanity’s brief span.
If we do not live fully in the time we have NOW, when are we going to? Post death?
I do not wish to end my brief existence upon this planet (whenever that may be) lying upon my Death Place and screaming, ‘If only…’ to the barren stretches along my life’s path.
I would far rather go out with, ‘Yes! Not perfect, but lived as intensely as I could!’ trembling within my final smile.