Even if you’re not a fan of classical music, you may know about violinist Joshua Bell from the “Stop and Hear the Music” video that’s been circulating around the internet. In January 2007, The Washington Post got Bell to agree to perform what he called “a stunt,” playing incognito in L’Enfant Plaza Station in Washington D.C. for tips, and what the subsequent Post story about it called “an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”
Sadly, it did not.
Three days before, Bell had played at Symphony Hall in Boston, where tickets went for around $100. Shortly after the January gig at L’Enfant Plaza Station–which netted him a little over $30–he appeared at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to accept the Avery Fisher Prize for best classical musician in America. You can read the detailed, chatty April 2007 Post article here and watch “Stop and Hear the Music” here.
The number of people who passed by Joshua Bell on their way through L’Enfant Plaza Station that day without stopping (1,070) has now been exceeded by the number of Joshua Bell videos that have been uploaded on You Tube (1,090).
I could listen to him play all day.
Joshua Bell performing Chopin’s Nocturne in C Sharp Minor
Please do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to stop and hear the music.
Lately, I’ve had more things to do than time in which to do them, i.e., I feel as though I don’t have enough time. I know–and you know–that time is not a commodity, much as we often treat it as one. But it’s difficult to stop thinking of it that way. When a friend commented in a blog post that there was no way to create a savings account for time, I immediately perked up. Wouldn’t that be great? I want one of those!
When I met the
Time, he said
it was no use
Even after all
these years he
still had too
much to do.
—Running Behind (Brian Andreas)
That doesn’t give me much hope that my relationship with time, and the lack thereof, is likely to change anytime soon.
what is time, anyway? it’s:
a nonspatial cotinuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future;
an interval separating two points on this continuum, measured essentially by selecting a regularly recurring event, such as the sunrise, and counting the number of its occurrences during the interval; duration;
a number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval;
a similar number representing a specific point, such as the present, as reckoned from an arbitrary past point on this continuum;
a suitable opportune moment or season;
an interval marked by similar events, conditions, or phenomena; especially a span of years; era;
a moment or period designated, as by custom, for a given activity; harvest time;
an appointed or fated moment, especially of death;
one of several instances;
a prison sentence;
the period spent working;
the rate of speed of a measured activity;
the characteristic beat of musical rhythm.
what does time do? it:
gives us hope
provides us with information
what do we do with time? we:
have no time
long for past times
want more time
look forward to future time
lose track of time
serve (“do”) time
keep track of time
while away time
seize the moment/day
take time off
use time wisely
but does time even exist?
We have sophisticated machines, like atomic clocks, to measure time. But measuring “time” doesn’t prove its physical existence. Clocks are rhythmic things. We use the rhythms of some events (like the ticking of clocks) to time other events (like the rotation of the earth). This isn’t time, but rather, a comparison of events. We called these manmade devices “clocks.”
But these are just events, not to be confused with time. Indeed, one could measure time by measuring the melting of ice on a hot day. We might even devise a plan to meet for tea at two ice-cube melts or 50 top-spins, which ever “time piece” you each happen to have on hand. Clocks just have springs and things. People get sidestepped into believing time exists as a physical entity because we’ve invented clocks.
From a biocentric point of view, time is the inner process that animates consciousness and experience. The existence of clocks, which ostensibly measure “time,” doesn’t in any way prove time itself exists.
Well, whether time exists or not, we experience it; we live as if it is not only real, but often a cruel taskmaster. It might be more effective to try to make friends with time instead of fighting with it all the time.
I’ve already “spent” nearly two ice-cube melts on this post, but before I end, here’s a song about time from a long time ago: