Reflections on Time
This is the first of a series of brief essays that expand upon the ideas expressed in my poems. Let me begin with a poem:
Time is the Master that controls us all.
What was, is. What will be, was.
We are all Time’s Fools,
Who clown and caper as it passes by
All of Time exists.
We have but a little bit of it,
To hug, and hold, and do kind deeds.
Our piece of Time, of course, must have a stop,
So let’s begin.
Time is truly our master, but it is also our window, our small and cloudy window into the profound mysteries we can never comprehend.
Most people think of me as irreligious, and in the sense that most people use the word religion, I am. But I have a spiritual and philosophical side. For me, Gödel’s Theorem holds the key to how we should think of the immense vastness that is beyond our ken. Gödel proved that (to simplify a bit) for any given system there exist propositions that cannot be understood from within that system.
For me, that is it exactly – we must accept the fact that there are things we cannot know, mysteries we cannot solve. Consider the strange mystery of Time. It is one if the fundamental properties of the Universe. In that sense, Time is static and eternal. But as we live our lives, it seems as though we move through it at an ever-increasing pace. Time feels dynamic.
I cannot resolve this contradiction, and perhaps I have no need to do so. These days, the only quality that seems real is decay – the decay of our bodies, of our minds, of our civilization.
My hope is that, in some mysterious way (that word again!), I exist simultaneously in a multitude of universes, in some of which, at least, I do not make the same mistakes. But that is probably wishful thinking. I suspect that Time will stop for me at some point in the not distant future, and my regrets will not matter.
That’s why I say – Begin!
Death’s Blue-Eyed Boy
My father was certain
What would happen.
“Like snuffing out a candle,” he’d say.
“Like turning out all the lights in the world at once.”
I have a different take on death:
I think I’ll pass
Into an alternate universe,
Where I’ll get another chance
To do it right.