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The "Spiegazione della Carta Istorica dell' Italia"
by Girolamo Andrea Martignoni is an early example of how humans have tried to envision the passage of time through illustration, allegory and metaphor.


Della Carta, in 1721, mapped the history of Italy over time as rivers flowing out from a central great lake, past specific dates delineated as land forms.

The central great lake is the Roman Empire. The rivers flowing up are the nations conquered by Rome. The rivers flowing down are the nations which emerged from Rome's reaches.


Renaissance scholars used metaphor to illustrate history; Territories of History and Rivers of Time.


"Time is a River" is a metaphor.


Metaphors are powerful tools in communication.


A good metaphor is the hammer hitting the nail on the head.




Better said, a good metaphor distills peripheral and extraneous thought into a single visual-audio understanding, and good understanding makes a very strong memory. History after all is metamorphic memory.


We've been metamorphosing time ever since we conceived of and wrote "In the Beginning".


"In the Beginning" is probably the biggest and best of all metaphors. The idea that creation had a beginning immediately locks memory into a geography of "somewhere else and in some other time". The Bible is a linear composition of historical events and its pages flow like a river from Genesis to Malachi and Matthew to Revelation.


The metaphor, "The River of Time" creates a linear view of history. "In the Beginning" and "so it shall be" to the "end of all time."


Time as a River springs from headwaters from some far away and long time ago mountaintop. The River of Time gathers us all forward flowing away into tomorrow and into the great lake of ultimate surrender.


The metaphoric linear, river-of-time view is hammered home, hits the nail into our metaphor-dependent heads and carries us irrevocably away down the River of Life.


Until Albert shows up.



Albert shows up and paints us another metaphor.


He nails it.

He hammers it.

He annihilates it.


(And he also loved reading the Bible from various perspectives.)



Einstein suggests that time is as a transparent train zipping through the universe at the speed of light and that based on our point of view the bomb in the train went off already, is about to go off, someday will go off or is always going off.


Time is Relative is Metaphor.

Time is no longer simply a river. The passage of time depends on our individual point of view. Albert freed us from rolling always down the river of life.


We're allowed now to look at time from different points of view just like we can read the Bible from unique and personal experience.


Doesn't time today feel different than it did when we were kids?


Relatively speaking of course.


Music tracks are downloaded from Amazon in seconds. We purchase condensed outlines of classic novels and understand the gist of them in hours. We learn passably a foreign language in a couple of days listening to Rosetta Stone. We find life-ever-after soul mates in minutes on


These things used to take much more time. Technology is allowing us to do things in thinner and thinner slices of time.


There I go again! Time is a spicy sausage that can be sliced into bite size nibblets, easy to digest.










Time is a river.

Time is money.

Time is cheap.

Time is relative.

Time is a never ending spiral.



Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping unravels an eviscerated cardboard globe and spirals it yin and yang along the wall, sticking long white dated darts into it, which chronologically track past, current and future disasters.

Art is long and time is fleeting.


Stick into Time what you will. We unravel, but never time.


Whatever metaphor we assign time, the metaphor is yours. You own your own time. Machine it well. Time is relative to you.





Time is a recording of what we do and don't. Time is information stored somewhere forever; a kind word shared, a helping hand given, a thing made beautiful with conscientious intent. Or time is a cutting down, a prideful rebuff, a thing made ugly with no intent consciousness.


Take Time on a Date tonight. Pay attention to her or don't. But friend, remember this: she remembers everything. Make love or war with her. Time is a willing date. She'll go along with you no matter how you treat her. Just know though that regardless of how you spend her, Time, she will never be coming back.

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