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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Rodgers

‘I’ve Got Time...’ by Artist Dr Cheryl Rodgers

Time - one of those great hazards of ... well, of our time, as it were. Whichever century you claim - whether its the nineties or the noughties... ‘time’ has been on our collective mind. How fast it goes.. what best to do with it.. ‘time on our hands..’ ‘doesn’t it fly...’ ‘time waits for no-one...’ Wherever we hang our hat on these aphoristic hooks, we do not seem to have an easy relationship with time. We have even created major philosophical movements to help with our struggles... witness the SLOW movement for example.. Slow Food... Slow Yoga... Slow Working perhaps?

I like the representation of time in the tree: an over-wintering tree perhaps. Time to rest, time to sleep, time to hibernate to rejuvenate. Many animals take this time out - us - not so much.... If you’re interested there is a beautiful book called ‘Wintering' by Katherine May where she talks of ‘the power of rest and retreat in difficult times.’ The power perhaps of taking time when we need to. Trees,I feel, rest heavy in the earth, firmly planted, mostly solid, full of life but quietly so - and full of the lives of others living within its branches. And the tree just ‘allows’; just lets life go on while it rests. It’s time will come, to launch once again into the world with fresh new leaves and more rings ... but for now, the tree lets time slip by... Perhaps we have something to learn from the resting tree.

But of course we all may have different perceptions of time and time passing. Newton of course, saw time as fixed, non-varying, one second is one second everywhere, but that’s not perhaps how most of us experience it. Half an hour in a wonderful bath is different to half an hour in a board meeting. And half an hour for me in my studio, painting, is just a flash! Einstein of course had more like the right idea with a notion of time that ebbs and flows and although he is referencing time as affected by gravity and space-time, I like his thinking in my pragmatic world. Time ebbs and flows for me, for sure.

Time has, of course, occupied many great minds - although maybe not in ‘great’ ways. From Shakespeare’s ‘Devouring Time’ (Sonnet 19) and HG Wells’ future dystopia (The Time Machine) to T.S. Eliot’s ‘Down the passage we did not take, Towards the door we never opened..’ (Burnt Norton) we see a fear of time. Or perhaps simply a fear of wasting time. Tolstoy said that, ‘the two most powerful warriors are patience and time’ so maybe we need only to learn a mastery of those things? No mean feat methinks. But mostly I enjoy Mark Twain’s view that ‘there isn't time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.’

Maybe take some time to think about your relationship with time and practise saying and thinking, “I’ve got time...’ Maybe.

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