Commonplace News Joshua Reyes

POTD: Time and Eternity 85

Day 7. Today’s poem of the day is Time and Eternity lxxxv.

They say that “time assuages”,—
Time never did assuage;
An actual suffering strengthens,
As sinews do, with age.

Time is a test of trouble,
But not a remedy.
If such it prove, it prove too
There was no malady.1

This one makes me a little sad, even if it’s usually true. This short poem calls out the wisdom of the saying “time heals all wounds”. It doesn’t. And while, this is probably not the original intent, I read Time and Eternity 85 as a call to action.

Sure, driftwood stranded in the middle of sea might strike a lucky ride on a current to somewhere sunny. That driftwood might wash ashore on a tropical paradise without paying the the expense of energy or intention. But more often than not, if you blindly go with the flow, you’ll end up in a giant pile of trash in the middle of the ocean.

Instead, we should be intentional in our living—especially when it comes to solving our problems. When you’re up to your neck in the water of life, pick a direction and start swimming. If you don’t like where you’re headed, change course.

  1. Emily Dickinson. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Little, Brown, and Company. (1929)