Add 30 Seconds —(Listen)


add 30 seconds to anytime,
what’s that interval?

hell, double it
what’s that?

have you ever had a day that lasts three
or one that goes so fast it’s past —instantly?

are those durations short or long,
if hours mean anything?

subtract 5 hours from anytime
do we really think we’ve minced minutes?
as we tick them off are they really not there?

there’s a continuum called now
outside of which is guesswork
because our instruments only work here
slice it anyway you want
it remains

still ………. whole

our clocks do not
affect it

now is never what it was before
because things change
and will change again, 
not yesterday or tomorrow
it only happens now

now is the only thing we have to work with
now only knocks now

by Jim Culleny

One thought on “Add 30 Seconds —(Listen)

  1. Hi Jim,
    I liked your thought-provoking column in The Recorder about time. I think you would share my similar dismay when people reference “the universe” with an acknowledging up sweep of gaze and homage-bestowing, skyward pointing finger (like Big Papi when he crosses home plate after hitting a home run) directed presumably toward “The-Great-Way-Out-There-Where-The-Universe-Is”, implying that somehow we dopey, Earth-bound terrestrials overslept, ran to the pier, but alas missed the the final departure of the USS Ed Sullivan and thus will forever be left out of the “Really Big Show”.

    Time is a delicious subject to contemplate. I love attempting to wrap my mind around the “deep time” you mention. Once I was over on the way to North Adams with my kids at a little “natural bridge”. The bridge was pretty underwhelming, but nearby there was a plaque of sorts which stated roughly that “In the direction you are now looking there was once a mountain range fully as tall as the Himalayas created by the tectonic collision of continents which over the past 350 million years has eroded away to the mere nubs that are known today as the Berkshires.”

    And that was the day that I “grokked” that 350 million years is indeed a really, really, really long time if it’s long enough for the depressingly slow erosive forces of wind and weather to wear away Mount Everest!

    What a marvelous paradox is time — at once instantaneous and eternal. (How does it manage that?)

    But all the more marvelous, what a marvel that a mysterious collection of molecules orbiting a star can grasp the preposterous realization that it itself is time.

    See you around campus, Jim.

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