Your day just like everyone else’s is only 24 hours. Unknown to most, there is a great truth in these very words; which is hard to accept. After all, the truth is bitter.
Time is valuable. No amount of money, no precious gem, not even selling your soul to the devil can buy you time. Our ancestors did not joke when they said that “time and tide wait for no one”. We only realize the importance of these words when opportunities have passed, and we lose. Neither words nor numbers can outline the importance of time. Maybe it is pointless to try to explain the truth of time, that many of us are unwilling to accept. But I hope that the mere words of some legends woven carefully into this web will help all of us look into the bigger picture.
One of Maya Angelou’s infamous works includes her poem, ‘Passing Time’. A string of words forming an intricate web containing only six lines that speak of a bigger truth. A truth that is hard to accept. I still remember those words. It went something like this:
“Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
Of a certain end
The other, the end of a
Maya writes about two different periods of the day. Morning, when a new day begins and evening when the same day has to end to start a new beginning. She compares herself to evening, expressing that we shouldn’t worry about the past but instead get ready for the next day to not lag. In these words, one of the truths that I wanted to convey surface –
We all only have 24 hours in a day, yet it is in our hands to decide ‘whether these 24 hours be memorable or should they be wasted on some thoughts that could sometimes destroy your life?’.
Maya Angelou describes it better than I can. Even if we only have 24 hours, it is in our hands, on how it must be used.
However, this is only one half of the truth, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet XIX conveys what is yet missing:
“Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws;
And burn the long-liv’d Phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
I am aware that I did not share all the verses of this beautiful sonnet, and for that, I apologize. Though, the truth that I wanted to share is, “Time destroys everything in its path as it passes.”
William Shakespeare has in his first few verses conveyed that as time passes, the nails on the lion’s paws blunt, everything dies and becomes a part of the sweet earth, teeth fall from the jaws of the tiger, the phoenix burns in its blood, the seasons run and our emotions flee. He emphasizes that be it living beings, monuments, nature —something as big as a mountain to something as small as an atom, from living to non-living things, each and every single object which consumes space and has volume is destroyed.
Memories, emotions, and feelings fade away, even though they do not consume space or volume, but they are part of those who do. They are a part of human beings. When we pass, all our memories and emotions die along with it. We might live in other’s memories, but soon even that will diminish.
The truth of time which we refuse to accept is what makes us considerably adverse to change. If we could accept the ways of time, we work towards being better. For our improvement in fields known and unknown; it would be judicious of us to accept the bitter truth of time.
As time passes, that is, as we grow old, the ups and downs in our lives teach us how time flows. Some tend to learn earlier, and some later. But it is time that teaches about itself and its importance in our life. When these words of truth are accepted, we face reality.
Because this bitterness is our reality.