Friday, November 11, 2022

Setting the Timer

Hourglass (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The thing about time is that like distance it can be divided into infinitely smaller gradations. This phenomenon is most evident when you’re late for an appointment and waiting for a traffic light to change. A minute seems much longer than it would were you savoring the last few minutes before having to say goodbye to a friend or relative. Zeno’s paradox of course demonstrates the comparative elasticity of distance. Would that time were like the needle stuck in an old-fashioned vinyl record. The end of life presents a paradoxical problem that takes the form of boredom. Retirees tend to have lots of time on their hands even though they have relatively little time left to live. The biggest excitement is finally stepping off the High Dive. In the earlier stages of life, time flies, with life slipping through the fingers like a fish frantically struggling to free itself from one's grasp. The party seems to be ending before it started. You may remember a romantic night, made all the more precious by the subliminal awareness of how fleeting it would end up being.

read "Lamb Stewed" by Francis Levy, Dispatches From the Poetry Wars

and listen to "Time is On My Side" by The Rolling Stones

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