Saturday, May 31, 2014

#152 / For The Time Being

The English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. According to this source, there isn't much difference between the expression "for the time being" and "for now." These different phrases basically mean the same thing. 

Ruth Ozeki has written an absorbing novel with the title A Tale For The Time Being, and she may well have done some research on the phrase, since her heroine is named "Nao," which I think is pronounced "Now." Her story is a tale about and for Nao, and it is for the "Time Being," too, because as Nao says on page one: 

My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you. 
A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and everyone of us who is, or was, or ever will be....

Ozeki is not only a writer. She is a Zen Buddhist, too. I like this book. I recommend it.

I also think it's good to contemplate the implicit message in the title of this tale. If we are all "time beings," who live in time, then we are alive only NOW.

That's the only time we have.

I am fond of quoting George Fox, the Quaker, who said just the same thing:

You have no time but this present time; therefore prize your time for your soul's sake.

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1 comment:

Thanks for your comment!