It Marches On
Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 2:01pm
A riddle for you:
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
-Gollum, from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The answer, of course, is time. On a grand scale, one has to acknowledge that time ultimately catches up with us all. There is no cheat, no invisibility cloak that permanently shields us from the effects of time.
Hurry up…hurry up…hurry up…hurry up began to ring in my ears like an obsession.
-Langston Hughes, The Big Sea: An Autobiography
Time is a record of our existence and a marker of events; but more than ever, it feels first and foremost like a commodity. The DC Time Bank operates on the latter concept. Members trade in units of time: You exchange an hour of your knowledge or talent — whether it’s teaching someone how to speak French, babysitting or helping someone with their website — for an hour of services that you need in turn. The possibilities are many.
For example, in exchange for someone else's expertise, current members are offering:
- bike maintenance
- help in setting up a backyard compost
- juggling lessons
- business plan reviews
DC Public Library has numerous books on conquering, relishing, or understanding time — from shortening your work week to getting a quick dinner on the table that doesn’t involve your cell phone and a takeout menu. Perhaps you’ll find time to retreat to one of the few places where no one (save children) will bother you, with one of these titles:
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker's Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life by Bruce Rosenstein and Frances Hesselbein
Just in Time!: All-new 30-minute Meals, Plus Super-Fast 15-Minute Meals and Slow it Down 60-Minute Meals by Rachael Ray
The Best Simple Recipes: More than 200 Flavorful, Foolproof Recipes That Cook in 30 Minutes or Less by America's Test Kitchen
Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick