Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

But imagine a world without tomorrow, a world tidally locked to its sun (much as our moon is to earth) with one face perpetually in light and the other the void of night.  What sort of life would evolve on such a planet devoid of a regular reminder of time.

No days, no night, no seasons.  No sleep, for in a world of forever light, sleep would bring the certainty of rapid predation, but then, on such a world what would be the value of sleep?  Would it ever have evolved?

Moments would pass unmarked - birth, growth, eat, procreate, die.  Just a continuum.

On such a world, would intelligent life ever conceive of time?  No stars, moon, seasons, day and night to tell us that anything exists beyond the here and nothing to indicate the presence of time itself except perhaps the momentary fall of an object or the passage from one place to another (but then without seasons why should you move?)

Without tomorrows, and seasons and stars at night, we would never have developed our calendars and our clocks and our perception of time itself - even though we still don't understand exactly what it is...

Perhaps we 'fools' strut upon our stage because we have an understanding of the existence of time and indeed of space itself.

Enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow.

A Walk Through Time

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