I recently went to the funeral of a relative. An Aunt, who I hadn’t seen for years. (Which is sad enough, really, without the death bit). Not a tragic death; she was old. But, still, I was sad. I remembered the years that were passed. The years since I was very young and visited this Aunt (and the Uncle who came with her); playing in their garden. I think I only visited them once when I was an adult, and I didn’t get to play in their garden. The passing of childhood. The passing of Time.
Even more recently, I re-read Frank Herbert’s Dune Trilogy (I’m currently re-reading the 6th book of the trilogy). Strangely, this also speaks to me of Time. For a start, I first read it in the late 70s/early 80s. I’ve re-read the Trilogy a number of times since….probably every ten years or so (a long enough gap to have forgotten the details, but still short enough to remember how good they are). The books are suffused with the passage of time, Epic Time. Thousands of generations. And evolution of power structures, and religions, and geological change.
I’m not sure what prompted me to re-read these books. I had just finished reading both Kenan Malik’s The Quest for a Moral Compass, and Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay, and just started reading Tom Holland’s In the Shadow of the Sword. Maybe that’s why. Big theme books. Big societal themes. People often lament the passing of Time, but I don’t. Time allows perspective, and it allows looking back……reflection. I might get to re-read the Trilogy another two or three times…….(also, can’t find the fifth book, I wonder if I’ve actually read it?)….