“Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn” are the profound last lines of the poem, Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day, by Delmore Schwartz. It’s a beautiful philosophical ponderation on the passage of time, with a particularly great wrap-up last stanza.
The seconds, minutes, hours tick away relentlessly. Our lives are busy, and inundated with many distractions and responsibilities. Lately I’m looking at my age and the years that have passed, and thinking, “Wow! It’s going faster than I ever could have imagined at age 18.”
Realistically, we don’t have time to sit around and ponder endlessly about the value of time and our lives. But, it’s useful to carve out a little time (from time to time) for such introspection. Because your life IS precious, and the clock IS ticking. Ask yourself in this moment, are you spending it the way you would really like to? In reply to that, I will close with the beginning lines of my own poem, called Tick-tock Madman:
That round evil man
with his shallow pretty face
leers from my wall.
Cruelly and incessantly
he chips away at my life
with his sharp little pick-axe.
My days mete out
in an endless dribble of
task and responsibilities.
And he watches me.
Be on time, get it right!
Get up again, do it again.
And again, and again, and again.
The rest of the poem here: Tick-tock Madman. Food for ponderation, when you have time.
Lifetime and Tick-tock Madman © Susan L Hart