In the beginning there was nothing. And within that nothing was more nothing. And then there was something. The Big Bang was the beginning of something but it had no name, it had no form, it simply was. The something grew, it evolved over millions of years and eventually it became us. We as a species need to control, we need to name, to label and to judge. So, we named the nothing and the something and they became ours. We created the concept of time and it was good. Or was it?
“I’m late, I’m late! It’s such a horrid state!”
Does this sound familiar? We are corralled by time units. The alarm clock goes off at 6:30 so we have time to get ready for the day and be in the car by seven to make it to work by 7:45 so we can start work at eight. Lunch is at 12 o’clock, work ends at five, dinner at seven, drinks with friends at nine, bed by 11:30. And repeat, repeat, repeat. We may have created the concept of time but now time rules us.
There are time pieces everywhere visually blaring out the exact second we are living. We wear watches, our cell phones show us the time in huge neon numbers. We stare at the clocks but it is time that is staring back. I know it is a necessary evil, the world needs structure and that structure is bound by the units of time. But sometimes, just sometimes wouldn’t you like to turn it off?
Once upon a Time the world was ruled by the sun. It told us when to get up and it told us when to sleep. But then we harnessed the sun and created artificial ones so we could take over control. That is what we do. We take control. We’ve subjugated the world to our liking and our conveniences. And it is good. Mostly. It is in the folly of our hubris that we actually think we have been the victors. We will learn, hopefully in time.
But it is not the entire world that is ruled by our dictates. Some places have managed to escape the hunger for more and they live within their means without the concept of time. It is hard and sometimes untenable. That is not a world I could inhabit. I like the comforts afforded me by living within time. But I can still dream. I can dream of wide-open spaces and quiet gentle fields. I have camped in the wilderness where time has no meaning, where the sun is once again King or Queen. It may have only been for a week or so at a time but it was precious to me. And the memories I retain will always make me wish for a simpler time