Chasing Down the Muse: Pondering the issue of time

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

—Rabindranath Tagore


The early morning air is filled with the chatter of birdsong. The chirrups and twitters seem to be telling me that time's a wasting, but I roll over and put the pillow over my head to shut out the sound. Ha! Now thoughts fill my head. No getting away from it.

OK. What do I have to do? What do I want to do? How closely can I get them to mesh? Pondering these questions, I linger just a few more dawn moments before climbing down from the loft to start a new day.

I have convinced myself that it does help to think on these things, that it is not a waste of time, but a way of organizing it. Still, even as I consider and question, time is passing. The flow never really slows and I must jump in. As Marcus Aurelius noted, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place…"

Time is definitely sweeping by as I reflect on these things. Still, I continue to ruminate and question.

Do priorities and yearnings conflict or do they in some ways manage to weave together as the raft on which each of us rides floats down this river of time?

It seems that in my own life, as in others' I'm pretty sure, there are many aspects where we are way out in front of ourselves in time. This might be due to scheduling for future events or planning and learning for something still ahead. Can we stay in the moment while doing this? Time itself gets a little confusing here, doesn't it?

It is said that this moment is all that we have and yet, we must consider both precedent and consequence as well. They should not be ignored. An understanding of the relationship of past, present and future is a useful tool, certainly, and the three need to be in balance.

The "old, glory days" might have been great, but we must not be ignorant of the realities of the present. And wishful dreaming of some blissful future without the work of the present might only be denial of those same realities. Just as the river is one constant flow, so is this issue of time, I suppose.

OK. Enough of this cogitating on the issue of time even as more of it passes. The current of this day is moving along as the sun comes up over the eastern edge of the canyon. Tossing the pillow and blankets off, I rise to greet this new day, hoping to fill it with rich and satisfying experiences while fulfilling responsibilities too.

Jump in! Jump in! How can we not?

Cherril Doty is an artist, writer and director of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745.9973.

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