“The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” –Niccolo Machiavelli
Life is to a drizzle of crystals in a constricted vessel as a sailboat in a breeze is to a model in a bottle.
“We say that time passes, time goes by, and time flows. Those are metaphors. We also think of time as a medium in which we exist.” –James Gleick
Not to say that an hourglass figure is just a figure of speech, but that the hourglass—symbolic of all invented life meters—is a metaphor whose effect on thought is like a corset’s effect on breath.
“Metaphors powerfully capture our imaginations, and researchers have found that they can even influence our behaviour without us realising.” –Sophia Smith Galer
We all use metaphors, more or less consciously, to frame and depict our perceptions of what we experience.
“Clock watchers never seem to be having a good time.” –James Cash Penney
The idea of changing our perceptions by changing a metaphor that we measure life by, what we commonly call time, may seem laughable to reason, yet ring true to intuition. Or the other way around. The good news is, either way, we’re laughing.
“A happy man does not hear the clock strike.” –German Proverb
Ode on an Hourglass Figure of Speech (with appreciation to William Blake):
To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower, hold an hourglass figure in the palm of your hand, and lose your mind for an hour.
“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” –Jules Renard