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Time

  • Time: the one thing you take with you.

  • ... if you realize too acutely how heavenly valuable time is, you are too paralyzed to do anything.

  • Time turtles on.

    • M.F.K. Fisher,
    • in Norah K. Barr, Marsha Moran, Patrick Moran, eds., M.F.K. Fisher: A Life in Letters
  • ... alas! there is no casting anchor in the stream of time!

  • Time, like money, is measured by our needs.

  • Lost time was like a run in a stocking. It always got worse.

  • What was time? Where had it gone? There was left only an outer shell she had up to now looked upon as time — a husk only. The husk of time split open and let fall one seed — one seed of eternity.

  • Duration is not a test of true or false.

  • Time by itself means nothing, no matter how fast it moves, unless we give it something to carry for us; something we value. Because it is such a precious vehicle, is time.

  • Time is the continuous loop, the snakeskin with scales endlessly overlapping without beginning or end, or time is an ascending spiral if you will, like a child's toy Slinky. Of course we have no idea which arc on the loop is our time, let alone where the loop itself is, so to speak, or down whose lofty flight of stairs the Slinky so uncannily walks

  • Time itself bent you and cracked you on its wheel.

  • Time was a hook in his mouth. Time was reeling him in jawfirst; it was reeling him in, headlong and breathless, to a shore he had not known was there.

  • ... the insolence of time is like a blow in the face from an unseen enemy.

  • Time stood as still as an enemy in ambush.

  • Time indeed has very little to do with living except at its beginning or near its end.

  • I have ferreted out the alarm clock, plugged it in, and set it, musing on the word 'alarm' and why the world must be wakened daily to cries of panic and danger.

  • I don't lose an hour in the morning and expect to make it up in the evening; night is the wrong end of the day to borrow from ...

  • I think the best way to waste time is to try to save time.

  • ... time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace. Usually it loiters; but just when one has come to count upon its slowness, it may suddenly break into a wild irrational gallop.

  • Oh, time betrays us. Time is the great enemy ...

  • Is this the final treachery of time, that the old become a burden upon the young?

  • Oh, time is death, / Come, cypress-candled death, / Take us before time kills our life ...

  • ... all conscious thought is a process in time; so that to think consciously about Time is like trying to use a foot-rule to measure its own length.

  • ... his book ... makes nice reading for people. But what's the use? Except, of course, to kill time for those who prefer it dead.

  • Decades have a delusive edge to them. They are not, of course, really periods at all, except as any other ten years may be. But we, looking at them, are caught by the different name each bears, and give them different attributes, and tie labels on them, as if they were flowers in a border.

  • One could do with a longer year — so much to do, so little done, alas.

    • Rose Macaulay,
    • 1952, in Constance Babington-Smith, ed., Last Letters to a Friend ()
  • Time does not forfeit; Time does not abstain; / The future in one fist, he eats the past. / I know this; yet again and yet again / I try to hold the present, make it last / One moment, that the simple great be slain / Not unperceived. No hope — Time eats so fast.

  • Stand still, Time; / Hold, hold your pace ...

  • ... what was time but a convention, a habit of mind, a custom of dress?

  • There are half hours that dilate to the importance of centuries.

  • All my possessions for a moment of time.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • attributed last words (1603), in Barnaby Conrad, Famous Last Words ()
  • With a triumphant smile, / I confront time / as its edged diamond / sculpts my features.

  • How we use time defines us.

  • You can no more put a sense of time into a man who doesn't have it than you can put tides in a pond.

  • Merely having seen the season change in a country gave one the sense of having been there for a long time.

  • Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.

  • Time owes me such a heavy debt; / How can he ever make things right?

  • What was time itself but the bloom, the sheath enfolding experience? Within time, and with time alone, there was life — the gleam, the quiver, the heartbeat, the immeasurable joy and anguish of being ...

  • Time's violence rends the soul; by the rent eternity enters.

  • Time does us violence; it is the only violence.

  • In this world we live in a mixture of time and eternity. Hell would be pure time.

  • ... time is terrible, / Avenging, and betraying.

  • The calendar? A mere convention ...

  • Time is life. Anyone who wastes my time is killing me. Please don't!

  • Time was our banker once, and on our credit / Like an indulgent father let us draw. / Now he's turned sour, and our account does edit / And pounces on us with a usurer's claw.

  • Oh bolting Time, rough pony of my days, / Halt by the hedgerow of my life to graze.

  • ... although I love a rich life, I hate an overcrowded life. I believe in rumination and lose half the beauty of all things when I am deprived of the time to ruminate.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1927, Linotte, the Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 3 ()
  • ... like all energetic people, the more he had to do the more time he seemed to find.

  • Time is the thief you cannot banish.

    • Phyllis McGinley,
    • "Ballade of Lost Objects," The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley ()
  • ... When you take my time, you take something I had meant to use ...

  • Louie had, with regard to time, an infant lack of stereoscopic vision; she saw then and now on the same plane; they were the same. To her everything seemed to be going on at once; so that she deferred, when she did, in a trouble of half-belief to either the calendar or the clock.

  • ... he who finds he has wasted a shilling may by diligence hope to fetch it up again; but no repentance or industry can ever bring back one wasted hour.

    • Hannah More,
    • "The History of Hester Wilmot," The Works of Hannah More, vol. 1 ()
  • It is the large aggregate of small things perpetually occurring that robs me of all my time. The expense of learning to read might have been spared in my education, for I never read.

    • Hannah More,
    • 1826, in Arthur Roberts, ed., Letters of Hannah More to Zachary Macaulay ()
  • No one is ahead of his time, it is only that the particular variety of creating his time is the one that his contemporaries who also are creating their own time refuse to accept.

    • Gertrude Stein,
    • "Composition as Explanation" (1926), What Are Masterpieces ()
  • Time moves slowly, but passes quckly.

  • ... the wasting of time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another.

  • [On filling out a grant application:] I seek an extended period of time, free from all distractions, so that I might be free to be distracted.

  • ... it doesn't take long to stay an hour.

  • ... minutes weren't given you to save but to spend. This is yours — now. Stop and live it.

  • Women tell time by the body. They are like clocks. They are always fastened to the earth, listening for its small animal noises.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • in George Plimpton, ed., Writers at Work, vol 4. ()
  • I take a sun bath and listen to the hours, formulating, and disintegrating under the pines, and smell the resiny hardihood of the high noon hours. The world is lost in a blue haze of distances, and the immediate sleeps in a thin and finite sun.

  • Time is short and full, like an outgrown Frock — .

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1880, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 3 ()
  • I could not prove the Years had feet — / Yet confident they run ...

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1862, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Time is a Test of Trouble — / But not a Remedy — / If such it prove, it prove too / There was no Malady --.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1863, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked.

    • Tillie Olsen,
    • "I Stand Here Ironing," Tell Me A Riddle ()
  • ... you have to do more than just kill time or time will quickly kill you.

  • Punctuality is a praiseworthy virtue enough, but as the years went on, Mrs. Todd blew her breakfast horn at so early an hour that the neighbors were in some doubt as to whether it might not herald the supper of the day before. They also predicted that she would have her funeral before she was fairly dead ...

  • The unseen / Trails they follow / Take time.

    • Diane Glancy,
    • "If Indians Are Coming It Won't Start on Time," Iron Woman ()
  • I keep my clocks a little fast / so time won't take me by surprise.

  • This is my main shortcoming: I was so determined not to lose time that I often did the wrong thing. Not losing time has been my permanent concern since I was three years old, when it dawned on me that time is the warp of life, its very fabric, something that you cannot buy, trade, steal, falsify, or obtain by begging.

  • Life was always a puzzle to me. When I had the youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life.

    • Louisa May Alcott,
    • 1874, in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • ... what we lack is not so much leisure to do as time to reflect and time to feel. What we seldom 'take' is time to experience the things that have happened, the things that are happening, the things that are still ahead of us ...

    • Margaret Mead,
    • in Margaret Mead and Rhoda Metraux, A Way of Seeing ()
  • ... the days, and the months, and the years, pass so swiftly, that I can no longer retain them. Time, in its flight, hurries me away, in spite of myself; in vain I endeavor to stop him, he drags me along: the thought of this alarms me.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1691, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 9 ()
  • Eternity isn't a quantity, it's a quality. It is this splitting up of events into an irregular, inconvenient, positively demented time sequence that bitches things up. Why can't relative things happen together, simultaneously or in close sequence? Instead we live like jugglers, keeping a dozen balls in the air.

    • Mary Butts,
    • 1927, in Nathalie Blondel, ed., The Journals of Mary Butts ()
  • When you look up from your typewriter, look at the trees, not the calendar.

  • The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order ... it is the continuous thread of revelation.

  • Things take the time they take.

  • We must breathe time as fishes breathe water.

    • Denise Levertov,
    • "Variation and Reflection on a Theme by Rilke," Breathing the Water ()
  • To go at the same speed as the universe is to be at a slow walk, at a white heat. There is no rush. Each thing happens in its own time.

  • ... time wounds all heels.

    • Jane Ace,
    • in Goodman Ace, The Fine Art of Hypochondria ()
  • Indian time conveys an old grasp of time and life, perceived and experienced collectively by Indian people. ... From the edge of Indian time overlooking infinity, there is acute perception and perspective.

  • At my age days dissolve like salt in water; the day's gone and I don't even know what I've done with the hours.

  • Just as you began to feel that you could make good use of time, there was no time left to you.

  • Time deals gently with me; and though I feel that I descend, the slope is easy ...

  • Time is the most terrible, the most discouraging, the most unconquerable of all obstacles, and one that may exist when no other does.

    • Marie Bashkirtseff,
    • 1878 , in Mary J. Serrano, trans., The Journal of a Young Artist ()
  • Your life, in the end, is the sum total of how you spent your time.

  • There is no such thing as time for those who are happy. For the others — there is nothing else.

  • The time that one gains cannot be accumulated in a storehouse; it is contradictory to want to save up existence, which, the fact is, exists only by being spent and there is a good case for showing that airplanes, machines, the telephone, and the radio do not make men of today happier than those of former times.

  • For years I thought my work still lay ahead, and now I find it is behind me: there was no moment when it took place.

  • The great myth of our work-intense era is 'quality time.' We believe we can make up for the loss of days or hours, especially with each other, by concentrated minutes. But ultimately there is no way to do one-minute mothering. There is no way to pay attention in a hurry.

  • Saving time, it seems, has a primacy that's too rarely examined.

  • We are tricked by a phenomenon of time: hours and days pass slowly, but years pass quickly.

  • When people speak of Time's healing magic, they are simply being euphemistic about our human tendency — and perhaps necessity — to forget.

  • Five minutes — Zounds! I have been five minutes too late all my lifetime!

  • All time is now, and time can do no better. Nothing can ever be more now than now, and before this nothing was.

  • 'It's only for now,' we say when we're young. And one fine day we wake up and find out that what's only for now is the whole Goddamned thing!

  • Believe that we bloom upon this stalk of time; / and in this expansion, time too grows for us / richer and richer towards infinity.

  • An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.

    • Bonnie Friedman,
    • "Bits and Pieces of an Alter Ego," in The New York Times ()
  • In youth the years are long, the moments short, but in age the moments are long, the years short.

  • Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

  • The appointed thing comes at the appointed time in the appointed way.

  • Time was a river, not a log to be sawed into lengths.

  • The force behind the movement of time is a mourning that will not be comforted. That is why the first event is known to have been an expulsion, and the last is hoped to be a reconciliation and return. So memory pulls us forward, so prophecy is only brilliant memory — there will be a garden where all of us as one child will sleep in our mother Eve, hooped in her ribs and staved by her spine.

  • Decades go faster toward the end of a century.

  • To be put down in this world, and given only eighty years to get to know it in, is like being let loose in the United States of America for the first time with a high-powered car and unlimited gasoline — but with a visa that is valid for only a week. It's agonizing, that's what it is.

    • Jan Struther,
    • "Democracy Begins at Home," A Pocketful of Pebbles ()
  • ... only when we have a respect for time will we have learned something of the art of living.

  • There is Indian time and white man's time. Indian time means never looking at the clock. ... There is not even a word for time in our language.

  • I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.

  • Hours stacked up like unclaimed packages.

  • ... time is compressed like the fist I close on my knee ... I hold inside it the clues and solutions and the power for what I must do now.

  • ... I began then to think of time as having a shape, something you could see, like a series of liquid transparencies, one laid on top of another. You don't look back along time but down through it, like water. Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing. Nothing goes away.

  • Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backwards in time and exist in two places at once.

  • One lives everything down in time.

    • Stacy Aumonier,
    • "Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty," in Dorothy L. Sayers, ed., The Second Omnibus of Crime ()
  • The arc of my mind has an equal swing in all directions. I should say the same of your mind if I thought you would believe it. But we are so saturated with the notion that Time is a dimension accessible from one direction only, that you will at first probably be shocked by my saying that I can see truly as far in front of me as I can see exactly behind me.

  • One wants more time, more youth. That is it. That is all one asks for — nothing but that, a little more time. Hear it running by! Listen! In the night, in the morning, at noon, at even, rushing by, silent, stealthy, trying to hoodwink you by the fixed appearance of things that seem not to change; but never stopping. Oh, to stop it! Oh, to get it back! Oh, to dig one's toes in and refuse to be rushed headlong towards the brink!

  • ... time lessens all extremes and reduces 'em to mediums and unconcern ...

  • ... Every / minute eats the next / with a ferocious / and delicate / appetite.

  • There is nothing so intractable as a calendar.

  • ... Time the healer (Time the killer) flies faster here in Rome than anywhere else in the world, I believe ... here in Rome there are or seem to be strange differences in the value of things. For instance, the pound weight, instead of being sixteen ounces, is only twelve; the foot measure, instead of being twelve inches, is only nine; and I think, in some way, this must apply to time as well, so that the hour, instead of being sixty minutes long, is only forty-five!

  • The one real thing that money buys. Time.

    • Marita Bonner,
    • "On Being Young--A Woman--and Colored" (1925), Frye Street and Environs ()
  • Foolishly no doubt I am at times assailed by the thought that the vividness of those days, now quieted forever, may not be entirely subjective. Perhaps they exist outside time, and still continue their measured way in the scheme of things.

  • Near the point of impact, time acelerates to the speed of light.

  • All the clocks were running again. Moomintroll felt less lonely after he had wound them up. As time was lost anyway, he set them at different hours. Perhaps one of them would be right, he thought.

  • Successful leaders develop effective strategies for maintaining their boundaries. ... Most time bandits don't know any better. And being a time bandit is a matter of context. One person's time bandit is another person's pleasant diversion. ... Instead of gritting our teeth to be polite and resenting the time bandit for holding us up, the best choice is to be honest. We cannot expect another person to honor our needs unless we affirm them ourselves.

  • Time has told me / less than I need to know.

  • ... you don't get to make withdrawals from the time bank. Only deposits.

  • Time ... is not a great healer. It is an indifferent and perfunctory one. Sometimes it does not heal at all. And sometimes when it seems to, no healing has been necessary.

  • But Time is a great traitor who teaches us to accept loss.

  • The days are long, the years short.

    • Annette Mack,
    • in Michelle Edwards, A Knitter's Home Companion ()
  • Our perception that we have 'no time' is one of the distinctive marks of modern Western culture.

  • You don't heal from the loss of a loved one because time has passed. You heal because of what you do with the time.

  • ... it's a funny life. Either you don't make a red cent and you have all the time in the world, or else you get double the money and you don't have a moment to spend a penny of it.

  • It seemed as if all the clocks in Deephaven, and all the people with them, had stopped years ago, and the people had been doing over and over what they had been busy about during the last week of their unambitious progress.

  • The thing remembered never was the thing itself, but altered by the thickening lens of time.

  • Punctuality is something that if you have it, there's often no one around to share it with you.

  • Many working families are both prisoners and architects of the time bind in which they find themselves.

  • Neither of them wore watches. On them, watches broke or lost themselves or speeded up to keep some lawless schedule of their own so you could almost see the minute hand racing around the dial.

  • Time has lost its shoes here / it stood still.

    • Fadwa Tuqan,
    • "From Behind the Bars," in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • I've lived in a preindustrial (rural Argentina) as well as an industrial world. You experience a different sense of time in a community that works the land. Human relationships aren't professionalized or contractualized; family and friends take primacy. Life has much more continuity than discontinuity. There's a great deal of poetry in everyday life.

  • Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.

  • How merciless a monarch Time is!

  • Time in China has no immediacy as in America. Here I find the swift passage of our few earthly years accepted as naturally as the fall of flower and leaf. ... I hear and speak a language in which grammar has no tense. Both scholars and illiterates, in ordinary daily speech, tell an event of centuries ago as casually as an incident of the hour. Only as my knowledge has accumulated have I been able to know whether something related happened just then or in some past dynasty.

  • Time was not something that passed. All eternity was but a single fierce stroke of rapture. Existence was all a weaving to and fro upon the same dim loom.

  • Time, designing slowly, swiftly; Time, destroying slowly, swiftly; Time holding, possessing the earth in its tender indifference.

  • Time passed so much more slowly than space.

  • Time heals all things but one: Time.

  • Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.

  • Time at length becomes justice.

    • Cynthia Ozick,
    • "Truman Capote Reconsidered," Art and Ardor ()
  • You can kill time or kill yourself, it comes to the same thing in the end.

  • Chronology irritates me. There is no chronology inside my head. I am composed of a myriad of Claudias who spin and mix and part like sparks of sunlight on water.

  • [Time was] an accordion, all the air squeezed out of it as you grew old.

  • There is time for work, and time for love. That leaves no other time.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Karen Karbo, The Gospel According to Coco ()
  • [On her brother:] In quick order Ed, a Vietnam vet, had become a doctor, a husband, and a father, with a regular family life out in the Valley, complete with home-cooked meals, a lawnmower, and a two-car garage. He experienced an entire life cycle in the period of time I was looking for a really cute date.

    • Teri Garr,
    • in Teri Garr, with Henriette Mantel, Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood ()
  • Each time he dared another encounter with the clock it informed him stolidly that time was a mighty opponent to those who deliberately sought to kill it.

  • How tedious is time, when his wings are loaded with expectation!

  • ... youthful days are longer than those of later years, as we all learn as we grow older ...

  • Time is purple / Just before night.

    • Mary O'Neill,
    • "What Is Purple?" in Hailstones and Halibut Bones ()
  • Time does not obey our commands. You cannot make it holy just because it is disappearing.

  • Time collapses and expands like an erratic accordion ...

  • Contemporary humans are exposed to more facts in a single day than medieval people faced in a lifetime. Although we've yet to realize the full implications of our accelerated culture, one thing is certain. As the clock once revolutionized work and society, the computer is reconstructing how we work and live with time.

  • In this universe, a number of things are truly unequal among us mortals, but time, above all, is democratic. The Maharajah of Jaipur, Nancy Reagan, your postman, and you each have a twenty-four-hour day. Wealth can't buy an extra hour and impoverishment doesn't shortchange the cycle.

    • Shirley Hutton,
    • with Constance deSwaan, Pay Yourself What You're Worth ()
  • Twenty-four hours is never enough for a busy person and way too much for somebody with nothing to do.

  • ... you don't deal with time. Time deals with you.

  • When I think about, say, 1995, or whever the last moment was before most of us were on the internet and had mobile phones, it seems like a hundred years ago. ... Time passed in fairly large units, or at least not in milliseconds and constant updates. A few hours wasn't such a long time to go between moments of contact with your work, your people or your trivia.

  • The irreversibility of time. That's the hardest thing to accept at our age, that's the most violent aspect of death.

  • Time was rushing around me like water around a big wet rock. The only difference is, I was not so durable as stones. Very quickly I would be smoothed away.

  • Time is the water in which we live, and we breathe it like fish. ... Time pours into us and then pours out again. In between the two pourings we live our destiny.

  • We have as much time as we need.

  • ... how vast and simple time appears / When yesterday becomes a thousand years.

  • Here is how it is for women. We become our schedules. That starts to feel good. Then it starts to feel necessary. Then it starts to feel like everything.

  • ... the heart and the almanac never agree about time ...

    • Grace King,
    • "La Grande Demoiselle," Balcony Stories ()
  • There is no mortal art / Can overcome Time's deep, corroding rust. / Let Love's beginning expiate Love's end.

    • Helene Johnson,
    • "Remember Not," in Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, eds., The Poetry of the Negro 1746-1949 ()
  • If time were like a passage of music, you could keep going back to it till you got it right.

  • And blessed are they who have learned the rhythms of the invisible clock whose hours and minutes are immense and soundless. The great clock of the seasons and the years, and the small clock of the intuition, whose timing is guided by the heart.

    • Josephine Johnson,
    • "A Time for Everything," in Jean Beaven Abernethy, Meditations for Women ()
  • 'I don't have time' is the single most frequently given reason for living fractional, perpetually indentured lives, for not living fully or freely. Because time is life, when we say we don't have enough time, we are admitting that we don't have enough life.

  • Time consecrates.

  • ... time is a fixed income and, as with any income, the real problem facing most of us is how to live successfully within our daily allotment.

  • The most precious thing a human being has to give is time. There is so very little of it, after all, in a life.

  • The French have no such expression as 'killing time.' In their more philosophical vocabulary the term is 'passing time,' which means savoring all moments of it each to his individual enjoyment. While we battle with time, they relax with tempo.

  • They said it was a sign of getting old when time slipped past faster and faster. It made her dizzy, the world was spinning around so these days, spinning from blue and gold to black and silver, so fast that not a drop was spilled from the rivers and seas, not a pot of flowers fell from a window sill, not a bird's egg fell from its nest.

  • If there's life in outer space, one intergalactic sound must baffle them. A sound like a runaway metronome. The sound of America ticking. Maybe you've been too busy to notice. But time has become the obsession of the age — as sought after and scarce as Shangri-la or sunken galleons.

  • If time is money, no wonder I'm not rich.

  • Time has passed through me and become a song.

    • Holly Near,
    • in Holly Near, with Derk Richardson, Fire in the Rain...Singer in the Storm ()
  • Time is, as you are probably aware, merely a convenient fiction. There is no such thing as time.

  • It is always dull in books when people talk and talk, and don't do anything ... The best part of books is when things are happening. That is the best part of real things too. That is why I shall not tell you in this story about all the days when nothing happened. You will not catch me saying, 'thus the sad days passed slowly by' — or 'the years rolled on their weary course,' or 'time went on' — because it is silly; of course times goes on, whether you say so or not.

  • Time is the measure of that which changes ...

  • Time pulses from the afternoon like blood from a serious wound.

  • Time is not so all-erasing as we think.

  • Time, for all its smuggling in of new problems, conspicuously cancelled others.

    • Clara Winston,
    • "A Lovely Day," in Mary Heath and Fred Miller Robinson, eds., A Good Deal: Selected Short Stories From the Massachusetts Review ()
  • Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, / Make me a child again just for to-night!

  • Beyond the roadside flowers — a project of Lady Bird Johnson's by the way — were alternating fields of prickly pear cactus and brushy areas of creosote and cacti. The mantis heads of oil wells poked up everywhere. Their constant beat marks the passage of time in this part of the world, and never was there a more perfect clock to remind us that time is money.

    • Doris Haddock,
    • with Dennis Burke, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year ()
  • Time is shaped like a funnel — if it has a shape. Childhood was the large part of the funnel, and as time moves on the funnel narrows and everything moves faster.

  • Time comes to us softly, slowly. It sits besides us for a while. Then, long before we are ready, it moves on.

  • Time is not a passing stream, carrying events away. It is cumulative, forever adding and storing up.

  • When one cannot be sure that there are many days left, each single day becomes as important as a year, and one does not waste an hour in wishing that that hour were longer, but simply fills it, like a smaller cup, as high as it will go without spilling over.

  • Time is change; we measure its passing by how much things alter.

  • Killing time takes practice.

  • Time is the mother and mugger of us all.

  • Life is walking fast / It wasn't how I wanted it, but I had to take what I could.

  • They will not be so long from dawn to dark, / The few, — the golden-few days that remain! / ... How I do prize the few days that remain!

  • We each have a finite number of heartbeats, a finite amount of time. But we have enough heartbeats and enough time to do what is important.

  • Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.

    • Faith Baldwin,
    • "Four Seasons, Three Tenses," Face Toward the Spring ()
  • O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things ...

    • Anne Bradstreet,
    • "Contemplations" (1650), in John Harvard Ellis, ed., The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse ()
  • Time is so mysterious, blessing and robbing.


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  • Time is the mother of perspective.

  • ... if the way ahead is not clear, time is often the best editor of one's intentions.

  • Time itself is our tragedy and most of us are fighting some kind of war against it.

  • Someone has gathered up time and compressed it to a whisper.

  • Time plays itself like an accordion in the way it can stretch out and compress itself in a thousand melodic ways.

  • There is no past or future. Using tenses to divide time is like making chalk-marks on water.

  • The stream of time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth, plunging them into utter darkness, both deeds of no account and deeds which are mighty and worthy of commemoration.

  • We are all hostages of time. We each have the same number of minutes and hours to live within a day, yet to me it didn't feel equally doled out. My illness brought me such an abundance of time that time was nearly all I had. My friends had so little time that I often wished I could give them what time I could not use. It was perplexing how in losing health I had gained something so coveted but to so little purpose.

  • The robbers of time are the past and the future.

  • Time keeps movin' on / Friends, they turn away / I keep movin' on, but I never found out why / I keep pushin' so hard an' babe. I keep try'n / To make it right to another lonely day.

    • Janis Joplin,
    • "Kozmic Blues," I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! ()
  • The days are long, but the years are short.