I’m sure you’ll have heard the saying, “Time Flies”. The expression is often found written on the faces of sundials in Latin, “Tempus fugit” and originates from the poem “Georgics” written by Roman poet Virgil:
“Sed fugit interea: fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore.”
And can be translated as:
“But meanwhile it flees: time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail.”
Never a truer word has been spoken. There are moments in ‘The Time Machine’ where the Time Traveller is wasting time with details, when he should be getting on with the job in hand, and all his time-wasting ultimately results in disasterous consequences. I sometimes feel the same way about putting this musical together, that I’m wasting time blogging about details, telling the story of the making of something when I should be getting on with the process of creating music and writing lyrics. However, the blog is helping me to some extent to crystallise out a few song ideas so, in a way it is part of the creative process—or am I deluding myself?
I do feel this sense of urgency to move things forward though. Time is flying by and I’m not getting any younger. In my twenties and thirties I would frequently work well into the night when I had my teeth into an interesting project, burning the midnight oil and, then on into the early hours of the morning, sometimes until I perceived the first pale light day or heard the birds singing—that was always my cut-off point. On the few occassions in my life where I’ve missed a night’s sleep I’ve felt pretty unreal next day and beware, there be dragons—this is no joke. Now I’m in my forties, although the mind is willing, the body is not so able. We all have our weak points and mine’s ulcerative colitis—a particulary nasty dragon of a condition. I do what I can to keep this dragon pacified and sleeping at all costs because when he wakes he runs amok causing all kinds of terrible mayhem and destruction. If you have coltis or have seen the scene from the movie ALIEN where John Hurt seems to be suffering from severe indigestion, then you’ll understand what I’m on about. There is one positive thing about colitis though—it does keep me focused on what’s important—I’ve no time for time wasting.
Also, the recent spate of tragic loses of famous musicians and actors has further compounded my sense of urgency. First Lemmy of Motörhead, who I thought was indestructible, then David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan, and just a few days ago, Victoria Wood and Prince, many of these stars passing away at what I would consider to a relatively young age, especially in these modern times of medical miracles. It makes me all too aware that we only have a short space of time available to us in which it is possible for us to achieve astounding things. The sun’s light only shines on us for a few decades (even less if you happen to reside in Stoke-on-Trent)—if we’re going to do anything truely spectacular and blaze across the cold night sky like a brilliant shooting star then we had better get a move on and sieze the day.