Epistrophe (e-pis’-tro-fee): Ending a series of lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words.

Time goes to the past and the future. Investment rides on the past and the future. Life is a waiting room between the past and the future. Then, there’s the present—where everything happens, but is instantly transferred to the past—a mountain of what was looming over the present, and accordingly affecting the the future. Time consciousness is consciousness. Unceasing from birth to death, until you can’t remember anymore: lost in the hum of now with no hint of the future—locked into something incomprehensible to the outside world. Without memory I can’t imagine taking the next step as I summon the last step as a guide to what’s next.

Somebody said “Time is a thief.” What does it steal? It steals your youth—maybe the most precious time of all. In a way youth lasts from birth until 40 years old. But, it peaks from 17-30. If you’re healthy, every bodily function is firing on all eight cylinders. You’re a purring Cheetah. You’re the warmth of the sun. You’re the 20 mile hike up a mountain peak. You’re in love, and making love almost non-stop—in the day, the night, the woods, on the couch, in the car, on a blanket—every way: standing up, laying down, on all fours, bending over, on your side, sitting. It’s complicated, but it epitomizes mutual pleasure, and in the mutuality of it all you discover the key to life: togetherness. It does not have to be sexual. It can be friendship, family, team play, partnership and more. If you’re not lonely when you’re alone, there’s something wrong with you.

But then, there’s timing, or, Kairos. The right time. The opportune moment. There’s a Biblical passage that points out that there is a time (a Kairos) for everything you can imagine, and often in opposition: a time to make war and a time to make peace, a time to live and a time to die, etc. You name it, there’s a time for it. There are no universals here: something may be true, and hence, everywhere the same. But, there’s a specific time to apply it. It may take wisdom to find the fitting truth, not just a truth, to guide a particular decision. That is, knowing truth is only a partial guide to apt decision making. While truth is timeless, it takes on its value in time, often in a clash with multiple other truths. And, the truth surely does not speak for itself: people speak on behalf of truth, and lies too.

So, whether it’s analog or digital, time inundates human existence. The better we understand time, the better we know what it means to be human. It is boundless, but at the same time it projects the horizons of our lives. It is the Alpha and the Omega. Or better yet, the Timex and the Rolex of human existence.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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