Monday, March 28, 2011

There’s A Message Here Somewhere!

In 1973 the group, Pink Floyd, released a monumental album, Dark Side Of the Moon.  There was something about their music that I discovered in the early days of the Whole Life Learning Center.  It was part of what I thought of as message music similar to so much of the music in the 1960’s.  The lyrics of the song, Time, deal with Roger Waters's realization that life was not about preparing yourself for what happens next, but about grabbing control of your own destiny.

Here are the lyrics to “Time,” from that album.  It is the only song credited to all members of the band.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

So you may be wondering why I am writing about this song.  If not, I’ll tell you anyway!  In the last week Pink Floyd has come to my attention from three different sources all totally independent of each other.  That is more than coincidence!  There’s a message in here somewhere.  Time is always important to most of us, at least occasionally.  Our attitude about time and how we “spend” our allotment greatly determines the value we find in life. 

I am so grateful that early on in my adult life I came to realize the personal relativity of time.  Time is NOT same for everybody.  Time is an individual experience.  One person will say, “My, time has just flown by!” while another moans, “Why is the day just dragging along?”  Same day, same clock, different experience.  It may be an over-simplification to say time is ours to use in any way we choose, but I believe it to be so.  I do not always make the best use of my time, but that is a choice, wisely made or not.

As we age in this temporal body we inhabit on this earth plane, the effects of time march inexorably on, seemingly beyond our control.  Yet even here we are aware of how some of us age more gracefully than others.  Is understanding the reasons for this difference part of the message we might find in the words of the song?

The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Let it not be said of me that I wasted my time here.  Who can judge that but me?  I echo the words of William Ernest Henley in his poem, “Invictus:”

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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