Just how did we become convinced that the shining hour needed improving?

I spend a lot of time waiting for this (whatever) to be over.  It’s not just when I’m in a car or an airplane; sometimes I’m just at a lecture I don’t want to listen to, or in a place that’s noisy and crowded.

At other times, I feel rushed and think there isn’t enough time to finish what I want to do.

Sometimes I can just be, and don’t feel a need to fill the time with activity, stimulation or accomplishment.  Fasting often puts me in this space.  At other times, I have to move a restless body.  But most of my time is “spent” in pursuit of one goal or another.

Time is not a commodity to be divvied up and traded for profit.  Least of all is time a bottleneck, or scarce substance that requires judicious budgeting for the sake of efficiency.

Death, of course, is the ultimate source of time pressure.  Life is of limited duration.  Sometimes I pretend that I’m packing my life full of variety and activity, but I suspect my real motive is to distract myself with stimulus and activity from a lurking fear of death.

I don’t know what death is, what the experience is like, whether there is an experience.  But I know what fear is, and I am convinced that chronic fear is not protecting me from death or anything else, and it is not my friend.  Learning about my fear has enabled me to separate the feeling of fear from the concept of death, and this has transformed is transforming my relationship to time.

HOW doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.

In works of labor or of skill,
Let thou be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
— Isaac Waats, 1674-1748


Post a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s