Certain events mark the passage of time, for which there is no need for a timepiece.

Marriages, births, and deaths are a few such events. On these occasions and traumatic events, we mark the time by noting precisely what we were doing, where, why, and with whom.

Numerous songs are written about the passage of time, what we would do if we could turn back time, and running out of time. The thought formed by the 20th century is that the ability to mark time and be punctual for engagements is a hallmark of intellectual culture. Writers attempt to cram years, sometimes decades, into stories of their fictional characters. Our fascination and need to bend time to our needs are without limit.

I wrote a news column and a blog post about my Grampa Stiles and his grandfather clock and how he would stare at the face of it without making a sound. Perhaps, he saw the face of immortality while gazing at its hands and intricate details. I had no idea when my fascination with time began, but it drove me to take a quantum physics course when many questioned my sanity for taking on such a task. I’m sure I drove the professor crazy with my questions about moving backward and forward through time. Indeed, it’s the question I missed on the final, and now many years later, quantum physics has proven what Shamans and other spiritual followers have known all along. There are ways to accomplish this movement, but know what you do first.

The mechanical clock was invented in A.D.979 in Kaifeng, China, although not for marking time as we know it, but for astrological predicting. As was on my grampa’s grandfather clock, there were luminary markings for the sun, moon, and stars. When Tartars invaded China in 1108, after they took it apart to transport it, they could not put the monstrosity back together and instead melted it down for swords.

Kings and other rulers have long sought to control time and bend it to their liking. In A.D.69, the Roman Emperor, Vitellius, paid the chief priest of Gaul a quarter of a billion dollars to extend spring by one minute, proclaiming he had “purchased time.” As it is said, a fool and his money are soon parted.

I’ve read volumes of books about time. Writers have designed blogs around the subject. And yet, all we seem to know is that time is something we cannot control.

 Clocks symbolize time in motion and, within their mechanisms, lives hope.

Perhaps we are often too much like clocks, which produce nothing until their duty to bring notice to a particular moment. We each have our intricate inner mechanisms, and yet, like a clock’s inner mechanisms, we go through each day without meaning until, at last, some reason calls to give meaning to our life.

My ramblings today regarding time have come to no astounding conclusion, but I leave you with this parting thought. At birth, we are given the gift of time. It is the manifestation of believing.

“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.” (HGWells)

Are you fascinated with the idea of time? Do you sometimes find it moves faster at times than at others? Or how about that time seems to move faster the older we get?