The signpost up ahead

We timestamp our moments (or the computer does it for us), with each detail of the stamp representing the same journey at different paces. Our spot in time is part of a specific year, a specific month, a specific day of the week, a specific day, and even hours, minutes, seconds. There’s the signpost up ahead: You’re about to enter Monday, August 24, 2020. (Note to future readers: Edit in your mind to insert your actual day.)

It is a specific day filled with specific moments, all of which will never happen again (unless we record them, but even then, no recording captures the exact entire experience). We measure these moments as accurately as a timestamp can manage.

Time passes, or perhaps more precisely, we pass through time, one second at a time, recording imperfectly as we go. The photos or recordings help us describe or reconstruct moments, but life itself is a continuous journal in which we mark the highlights.

We play some part in determining whether it is a comedy or tragedy. In the strictest definition of the words, all lives are tragedies because they end in death, but we can have our share of comedies along the way in which love triumphs — perhaps not a wedding but a metaphor for weddings every day.

The choice is laid out — light and dark — in every instant, or at least every moment. Once making a defining choice, we measure our actions by how much we adhere to that choice. And there is where we find the shades of gray — how light or dark our shades of gray measures us like time.

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