“There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations”: so begins Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle.”
Whenever a discussion of time arises in the classroom, I often show students Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son and say, “This is time.”
Saturn was the Roman name of Cronus, the Titan who personified time and, fearing one of his children would destroy him, consumed them directly after they were born.
Philosophers from Augustine to Einstein have sought to define time; but, judging from our language, we have settled it in more no-nonsense fashion.We speak of saving time, spending time, wasting time, investing time, losing time, buying time—the metaphor buried beneath such phrases is hard to miss: time is a commodity. Like gold, wheat, and cattle, it comes in limited quantities, has relative worth, and is subject to demand, supply, and chance.
I've read that people become happier around 50 and I've wondered why. I figure it probably has something to do with time.
Perhaps people in their later years accept that they cannot escape time, both its raveges and its potentials.
When one is younger, perhaps, he can cling to the delusion that a decision can bring something to an end, that by making some sort of big, dramatic decision, one can attain a stability.