We make a virtue out of
worshiping a clock-faced god,
living lives of tightly scheduled minutes
as if each lateness
were recorded in some
great and doomful book,
to be counted up and weighed against our hearts
when all our days are done.
As if Creation cared.
There is nothing natural
in the revolutions of a clock.
in the rocking trap of the escapement.
in the gears and springs
that cut the world to seconds.
We chose to treat these things as sacred,
to make a Faith of punctuality
and a Creed of “Don’t be late.”
But this is not a healing rite.
Punctuality is other people’s
demands upon our souls.
And it is not the only choice we are allowed.
The deep world moves but slowly
to the lingered dance
of sun and moon,
keeping time through
an abiding whirl of stars
that are for signs, and seasons, and days, and years.
And we can take that measure for ourselves.
Against the ageless patience of the skies
what worth are all our spring-wrought hours?
Here, our careful liturgy of timeliness comes loose.
Here, it does not matter if the seconds run away from us.
Here, beneath this temple vault of heaven,
is a morality of timelessness
that begs of us to stay until we know enough,
to travel at the speed of peace,
and keep our faith with moments,
not with minutes.
An ethics of the time we owe ourselves
so that, when all our hours have run dry
and every substance of our days is weighed and judged,
it can be said that our short stay here was well-lived,
and not well-scheduled.