augustine

"What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to the questioner, I do not know."

Eva Brann on the problem of Book XI of Augustine's Confessions:

"My own concern with time started from two ends at once, intellectual puzzlement and deep-felt irritation, and it developed, as really good questions do, from annoyed fascination to serious interest. The intellectual puzzlement was just that expressed by Augustine: What sort of a being, if it was a being, could be so handily familiar in daily usage and so fugitive to the grasp of thought? Here I did as all my fellow humans do: I make time, kill time, manage my time, waste time. To be sure, I’ve never “done” time, though but for the grace of God I might have. I know that time heals all wounds and ravages all the beauties of the world. But if I ask myself what it is that does this, I see and touch nothing and think of less. That is at first just a puzzling and then an engaging state of affairs."

Eva Brann on time

My own concern with time started from two ends at once, intellectual puzzlement and deep-felt irritation, and it developed, as really good questions do, from annoyed fascination to serious interest. The intellectual puzzlement was just that expressed by Augustine: What sort of a being, if it was a being, could be so handily familiar in daily usage and so fugitive to the grasp of thought? Here I did as all my fellow humans do: I make time, kill time, manage my time, waste time. To be sure, I’ve never “done” time, though but for the grace of God I might have. I know that time heals all wounds and ravages all the beauties of the world. But if I ask myself what it is that does this, I see and touch nothing and think of less. That is at first just a puzzling and then an engaging state of affairs.