I never realized that there could be more than one way of looking at time. For me it was just a constant flow forwards that seems to get faster every year that I age. I've just learned that the Greeks have a concept they call kairos, which means the opportune time for something. Letting the time pass by without acting can be problematic. Poseidippos of Pella wrote an epigram about a statue of Kairos, said to be a son of Zeus.  This is a translation from the Greek by Edward A. Storer:

From what country is the sculptor? From Sikyonia.
His name? Kairos.
And who are you? Luck, that rules everything.
Why do you stand on tiptoe? I am always running.
Why have your feet twin wings? I fly on the wind.
Why have you a razor in your right hand? That men may know me sharper than the keenest blade.
And why this hair over your forehead? That he who meets me may take hold of me.
But, by Zeus, why are you bald behind? That no-one I have passed by on my winged feet may seize me at his fancy from behind.
Why has the artist fashioned you so? For your sake, stranger, he made me and set me up as a warning in this porch.
It is about the window of opportunity, that swiftly passes - I'll take it, I think.

No comments: