“Time, time, are you really so unkind?

Why are you inclined to lag so far behind?’’’

I was listening to the lyrics of an old song and it set me thinking. Human beings are obsessed with time. Who hasn’t said, ‘I didn’t have time,’  ‘tempus fugit’, and ‘time waits for no man’ or even confesses to having ‘time on their hands’.  But do we actually understand the concept?

Most people just couldn’t exist without referring to time. We are asked to attend a meeting, or go to see the Dentist, or if we are lucky, receive an invitation to lunch or dinner at a set time and we, of course, slavishly try to be there.  The passage of time is an enigma: to a busy person time flies:  to a lonely person, it drags.

“You may go slow, when we meet, my love and I,

But ‘til then, I want the time, I want the time to fly.

How do you cope when the telephone and the doorbell ring at the same time, the kids are screaming for their tea and the vegetables are boiling over? Do you shrug your shoulders and say ‘C’est la vie – let them wait’, or do you go completely to pieces and cry ‘Help’ loudly?

Time can’t mean much to young babies and toddlers, providing their meals are produced on time, but I wonder what it meant to a two-year named Benjamin Woods a few years ago. He was already a member of MENSA.  Was he allowed the time to be a normal child, or was he, because he was extremely bright, forced to grow up too quickly?  I remember years ago reading about a dreadful ferry disaster in Indonesia.  One of the survivors, whilst struggling to stay alive in shark-infested waters, proposed to his girl-friend.   In this case, time or the lack of it, obviously had a profound effect on him.

Is all this slavish emphasis on time really worthwhile?  I was driving home from Guildford some time ago and I was in a hurry (well aren’t we always). The traffic in front began to slow down and then I saw the reason for the delay. Three brightly painted caravans were trying to park in a lay-by.  The first thing that caught my eye was the coloured plumage of two dead pheasants, their feathers blowing in the freshening breeze. They were hanging from hooks along with pots and pans and other household items. The entourage included ponies, dogs and live chickens in cages. They appeared to have everything they needed. These were not the modern mobile homes of the New Age Traveller, but the beautifully carved traditional homes of the true Romany gypsy.  They paid little attention to the traffic and appeared to be in a time warp.

Had they got it right, I wondered? Are we the foolish ones?  The well-loved opera singer Luciano Pavarotti had a star named after him. His star will no doubt (hopefully) still be shining down on everyone in a few thousand years’ time. Perhaps Old Father Tyme has the answer, but if he has, he is definitely not letting on!

‘Fly away time, Fly away time.”

A NOTE TO ME:   I must find the time to finish the final edit of my new book of short stories.  But, the sun is shining, the birds are singing their little hearts out and spring arrived today.  And, what is more, my winter garden needs turning into a spring one!

About phylburton

I live in south-west Surrey in England. I am an author of three published books, and I have another book of short stories due for publication in March 2018. I love singing, water-colour painting, walking, Cornwall and of course writing and reading good books. All three of my books - A PASSING STORM, PAPER DREAMS and WHEN THE ICE MELTS, were published by Matador (Troubador Publishing) Ltd. WHEN THE ICE MELTS was published in August 2016. My next book - THE POWER OF LOVE - is due to be published by Bridge House Publishing in March 2018. For more details about me and my writing, please go to my website:
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14 Responses to SLAVES TO TIME!

  1. Julia Bodie says:

    Too true -wish we all had more time for actually living!

  2. Kevin says:

    “Time, time, time, see what’s become of me…”

  3. phylburton says:

    Thank you, Kevin. Just what has become of you?

  4. Jane Risdon says:

    Enjoyed this no end…..found time to spend time with you Phyllis, this time. 🙂

  5. joskehan says:

    excellent points made Phyllis….they say if you want something done, give it to a busy person and it will be done on time…I have found this to be true most times, but in the past few years, this doesn’t seem to work for me anymore…maybe I’m too busy now! I often wish I could be like my little cat Clayton whose only concern is whether he gets his dinner in the evening on time, his chicken for breakfast, and his little treats during the day…lucky little boy.

    • phylburton says:

      Thank you for your kind words about both blogs. As I’ve got older, time seems to have escalated somewhat…strange that. There’s always so much to do. We moved from a large house to a smaller one nearly four years ago. I don’t have as much housework to do, but we have a much larger garden to look after. We had an acre and a half, now we have two and a half acres. I usually spend the mornings writing etc. and try, weather AND TIME permitting to get round to other things!

  6. Lizzie Lamb says:

    My favourite phrases are: Procrastination is the Thief of Time and If You Want a Job Doing, Ask a Busy Woman. People don;t believe how much I fit into a day (writing wise) and I know I have neglected other things in my life. Getting a balance isn’t easy, is it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

  7. jbwye says:

    Phyl – time, indeed, does never stop! I only found time for my novel after all my children had fled the nest, and then I could spend hours on end without distraction, which is the only way to get the creative muse going.
    I do so admire people who manage somehow to juggle an active life with writing a book. Dont know how they do it.
    So I guess I’m saying – have patience … and perseverence!
    The very best of luck!

    • phylburton says:

      Thank you, jbwye. I keep at it. Two published books and one ebook on Kindle and Smashwords and a third of my way through another book…time always permitting.

      • jbwye says:

        I admire your energy!

      • phylburton says:

        Thank you. Our three children have given us seven beautiful grandchildren and they all live within about four miles of where we live. So there is a distraction there, but there is an old saying: ‘Give a BUSY person a job to do and they will do it.’ But today is probably going to be spent in the garden as it was raining heavily all day yesterday.

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