The Spectre of Time

Having a birthday fall this month, I've been doing a little musing on the issue of time.

It's something which has always bothered me.  I often blame the childhood Saturdays of being terrified by Dr Who (Tom Baker was mine) for my fixation with time.  But be that as it may, it's never let me go.

It was a few years ago, perhaps just after I turned 40 that I started to feel truly mortal for the first time. I couldn't run as fast as I used to, stay up as late as I did, all that stuff which is nature's less than subtle way of hinting you're getting on.  Time was going about its insiduous work. And I liked the feeling not at all.

I'm not going to spend all this scribbling complaining about time - how pointless would that be?!  For an author, time can be useful. 

In the tvdetective books, some form of deadline always helps to up the drama and tension.  Without giving anything away, I've used a similar device in An Unnecessary Murder (the play wot I wrote) to add to the pace and plot.  It's a well trodden path by writers, after all.

When i was thinking of what I was going to write for this blog, I remembered just how much some of the great artists were bothered by time.  One of my favourite paintings is Dali's Persistence of Memory (the floppy clocks) which I find a beautiful but unsettling work.  And Eliot's Four Quartets is a favoured poem ("Footfalls echo in the memory...") Now that's writing!

Given that attachment to time, I wonder if it's unsurprising I chose the curious career of becoming a hack. Time is the eternal enemy there too, with deadlines always chasing you down.  For poor Dan in the books, it's even worse, with the twin deadlines of producing a report and the solving of a case to face.

I've come to the conclusion that time bothers/ fascinates me for one main reason. In life, I've always done my best to overcome any difficulties, do as well as I can with whatever is presented to me and try as I might not to be defeated, however impossible an aim that can sometimes be.

And in the tvdetective books Dan and Adam do likewise, and - more often than not - face down whatever adversaries are set against them, and win through.

But for them and for me, as for all of us, time is the one enemy we can never defeat.  The final foe, if you like.

One aside here (it's a first - I don't think I've ever finished a blog with an aside before); what a cheery musing for a Saturday morning!  My apologies, I blame it on a hectic week which has left me rather jaded. 

I suppose it's as I said. There's just never enough time...