The Romans called it a memento mori, some object that reminds you life is short and one day we all die. It is a concept that is often explored by artists, it can be seen in the painting and sculpting of bones and skulls found in medieval and Victorian England and on Puritan tomb stones in the United States.
It can be expressed in the words, Tempus fugit, meaning, ‘time flies’ which even today are still written alongside clocks.
In Mexico, the Day of the Dead celebrates and reminds us of those who have already died.
Signs that life is short are everywhere in art, the often quoted Latin phrase, ‘ars long vita brevis,’ dates back to the Greek physician, Hippocrates; tells us that life is short, but art endures.
In an interview George Harrison once spoke about all those books he probably would never read.
‘Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend,’ is a well known Beatles quote, the unintentional irony of which was later revealed through the many legal wrangles that hounded the Beatles right up until the present day. What a waste.
So perhaps today is the best time to start completing all those things we keep putting off.
Time is short, and as Shakespeare said: ‘our little life, is rounded with a sleep.’ A sleep at the beginning and a sleep at the end. The time to do things is now. And if you haven’t had enough already, here’s another quote:
The happy days are here and now.
Now is the time to laugh and live, drink all the wine,
Sing all the songs that live can give.
Our yesterdays are dead and gone,
Tomorrow lives so far away,
So be alive and think of now as the happy days.
(The Happy Days – Charles Aznavour)
And finally, one more:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
– Omar Khyyam.
Get on with it! Do it now!