Great Quotations on the Mysteries of Time

1As 2014 slides into 2015, we pause for a moment to ponder this mysterious thing called time. You can’t hold it in your hand. You can’t stop it, slow it down, or speed it up. You can’t see it any more than you can see the wind, but you can see its effects.

Although you can’t speed up time, you can speed up its effects—by turning up the heat. Is this what we are doing to the planet?  Can we stop it before it’s too late?  We urge you to think of the future, while living life to its fullest—in the moment, before it slips away.

Here, we present insights into the elusive nature of a moment, of time itself, as captured in words and images.


When told the reason for Daylight Saving time, the old Indian said: “Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket. (Author Unknown)

If you start the day reading the obituaries, you live your day a little differently. (David Levithan)

Clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. (William Faulkner)

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. (Benjamin Disraeli)


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.  (Kurt Vonnegut)

Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond. (Khalil Gibran)

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them. (Dion Boucicault)

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. (Henry David Thoreau)

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. (Carl Sandburg)

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. (Henry David Thoreau)

How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? (Dr. Seuss)

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

(William Shakespeare)

“Stopped Moment” by Vladimir Kush

“Stopped Moment” by Vladimir Kush

It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning. (Vincent van Gogh)


Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.  (Lenny Bruce)

It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten. (Anna Wintour)

We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing. (R.D. Laing)

The strangeness of Time. Not in its passing . . . but in the sudden realization that something finite has passed, and is irretrievable. (Joyce Carol Oates)

Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. (James Joyce)


The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied

a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose. (Arnold Bennett)

“You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.” (Arnold Bennett) Painting by Salvador Dali.

“You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.” (Arnold Bennett) Painting by Salvador Dali.

Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time. (Jorge Luis Borges)

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.

(T.S. Eliot)

Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead. (Hans Christian Andersen)

I’ve lived out my melancholy youth. I don’t give a f*** anymore what’s behind me, or what’s ahead of me. I’m healthy. Incurably healthy. No sorrows, no regrets. No past, no future. The present is enough for me. Day by day. Today!  (Henry Miller)

Photo Credits:


IMAGE: Dali: Melting Watch

IMAGE: Xetobyte: The Time Traveler

IMAGE: Kush: Stopped Moment

IMAGE: Dali: L’Aurora


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23 responses to “Great Quotations on the Mysteries of Time”

  1. messianicdruid says:

    Time is the fence around our pasture.

  2. Syd Barrett says:

    “Tired of lying in the sunshine
    Staying home to watch the rain
    And you are young and life is long
    And there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find
    Ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run
    You missed the starting gun

    And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”
    – Pink Floyd (Time)

  3. MrLiberty says:

    How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on. ~Zall’s Second Law

    is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you
    can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people
    spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg

    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Louis Hector Berlioz

    There is never enough time…unless you are serving it. – Malcolm Forbes

    Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number
    of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur,
    Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and
    Albert Einstein. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

    How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money.
    Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever. . -David

    Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. – Bil Keane

  4. They say that if you go faster than the speed of light you’ll come back to the future ?
    I should hope so .
    But if you’re traveling for ” light years ” , to a destination , you’re not coming back , your going to die of old age on the trip .

    • Kelly says:

      I just noticed, beauty mastiff, I have a Frenchie myself, more my speed.

    • What’s your point ? Your so limited , you go from time and speed to how stiff a frenchie gets you ?
      Well I was born Italian , I’ll bet you just went off at the speed of light ?
      Ah ? Kelly ????

    • Kelly says:

      The point is I’m a dog lover, no need to be a pr*ck about it!

    • Kelly , I’m a person that loves all life and I hold the dog ahead of most , I love them too . But I don’t insert my love in a ” Time Space ” debate ? Or anywhere else , barring Facebook posts or Youtube videos on the subject .
      You are replying to me with your love of dogs , so am I to just say , ” Wow he’s a dog lover ? I really don’t want to waste the real debaters time with this so , have a nice day ?

    • Kelly says:

      Hang on to that hypothesis, still doesn’t mean your not a dick. You’re above and beyond, I had a little respect, till I watched this…. it explains a lot. Now when I think of you, I think pseudo-intellectual basement troll burn-out. Roll another one, Guido. You have a nice day too!

    • Thanks I guess I am a Dick . And I apologize for not being more sensitive .
      Ok .
      Your absolutely right I guess it shows in that clip , I use a pipe by the way .
      So now what ? Let’s just have a nice day . I’m embarrassed . You found out my deepest secret , nobody would have known in all of the world , now you’ve destroyed my budding political aspirations , my secret basement troll burn out station . And my enrollment in the pseudo – intellectual college .
      I hope you’re pleased ?

    • Kelly says:

      That smokable mood enhancer changes the brain chemistry! And seeing as it probably follows you back to the early 60’s, you might consider a change! I remember those days and not fondly.

    • Are you saying it didn’t work for you ? Are you saying that it’s effects were detrimental ? just what the fu–k are you saying ?
      My reports come from me and yours from you . You gave nothing but kennel cough , I being An expert should indicate that you’re falling behind and will soon be useless to Mankind .

    • Kelly says:

      What I’m saying is you obviously lack clarity of mind, expert. Stop fooling yourself, you are nothing more than a sixties doper trying to retain some sort of relevance in what you know to be your fading world. And you call me useless, that’s to be expected from a real nowhere man. You are the one decided he was going to be the dick, if you think disparaging me is going to make you look the bigger man or feel better about yourself or impress anyone, you’re wrong, expert. The psychology of that is fairly simple and quite pathetic, but that pretty much covers your phony act, doesn’t it, expert?

    • I apologize and you’re right .

    • I’m not acting . And nobody has to read in between your lines to see whose the phony . Disparage you ? I can’t .

    • Kelly says:

      cool mastiff though

  5. Kelly says:

    My question- Whereas time ever moves forward, is there actually a moment that can be designated the present?

    • Milicent Cranot says:

      Wonderful question!

    • Kelly says:

      I’ve put a lot of thought into that and whereas time is measured by the second, is there a micro-second or a milli-second you could consider the present? I think not. Quite possibly, the present is merely a conceptual state. You would have to stop time to be in the present, wouldn’t you?

    • Kelly , I’m glad you asked .
      If you change viewpoints , as in , think of everything including you as an intelligent energy .
      Everything around you and yourself are a constant recreating assembly .
      What’s holding everything in place is what assembled it .
      The moment something that is recreating itself , that is full of different actions , so to say one moment from the next , which is the one your in ?
      To ask could only be done when the energy has taken transition or left .
      Because the future would like to continue , and the past has released it’s energy , it too was unstable .
      Do I give a good argument ?

    • Kelly says:

      That is hard to grasp, are you looking at that from a solopsist view? You seem to look at energy in a quantum aspect that I have to admit I know little about. The energy of mass as opposed to time is a quandary, but if I read you correctly, there is no present, only a transforming time energy continuum? An energy fading past and a continual energy construction of the future. I think that kinda goes beyond my scope of simple understanding, but I appreciate your answer!

  6. Urszula Koczyńska says:

    But time is moving slower or faster, depending on the velocity we take. Is it not? I saw it in the movie Interstellar.