TIME

Time stretches so long, into infinity.
And contracts until the moments have always passed again.
Time is a resource, time is a privilege.
People think they own time.
Time is the crucial, fundamental factor that allows us to live.
Which allows us to generate a meaningful narrative about ourselves, humanity and the
world in the first place.
Through temporal classification, we can interpret the past and plan the future.


Is the present also time?
Can time even be represented as a line on which the past is on the left, the present is in the
middle, and the future is on the right?
Or doesn't it rather span everything that ever existed and will exist – and therefore is not
monodimensional?


Who has the time today on the one side of the world, does not have it on the other side of
the world.
Time is always another and nevertheless the same.


So, do brightness and darkness also have something to do with time?
Or do we interpret them only as time, because they become predictable by their regularity?
Is it really late just because it is dark?
Or is this just a human association?
Is that even possible if the light conditions create different light in different places of the
world because of the angles at which they fall on the earth?
So, what is time then?
A construct for categorization, created by humans, now claimed to be a fixed quantity, yet
still granted that it can express itself relatively?
If time is only a construct, with which sense do we divide our entire lives according to time
aspects?
With which sense do I put myself under pressure to create something as fast as possible,
preferably now?


The bottom line is that I share my being with time not only in those moments when I make it
conscious, but also unconsciously by simply being, existing.
Time can be my friend and my enemy, depending on how I feel it at the moment.
It can be long or short, can be gone or overly present, can pass quickly or slowly – like a
friend passing me by as I sit.
Our friend is with us all our lives and yet never passes.


When the world ends, when we no longer exist, does time still exist?
If a tree falls but no living being with an auditory body system is present, is there any sound
at all?


We cannot say what is, when we are not.
We would like to and come up with all sorts of theories.
Time is the same for many and yet it is different.
Actually, it has no value in itself, because it is only a construct, constructed by people who,
as people do, assign it a use and value, instrumentalize it.
Especially in neoliberalism, aspects of time are economically and socially utility- and valueoriented.
Just because time exists – which is not even to be assumed – it must also be used, so that a
value results from it, because time is always limited, is scarce.
If one looks back at old, philosophical (and accordingly male) commentaries on time, one
finds such sentences:


“It is not too little time that we have, but it is too much time that we do not use” (Seneca)
“There are thieves who are not punished and yet steal the most precious thing: time” (Napoleon)
“Time does not pass faster than it used to, but we pass it more hurriedly”
(Orwell)


Does time always revolve around the fact that there is not enough of it, that it is never
enough, that it always passes by too quickly, that it is not used enough?
That it has always disappeared as soon as one consciously wants to touch it?


Time means never being able to create everything that one could create.
Time can be joy and time can be sorrow.
Time can torment and time can refresh.
Time can create death, time can make alive.


But is that really time? Or is it not rather we ourselves?

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TIME
essay, 2022
VANESSA SIEBAUER