Thomas Holbrook's Reviews > The Time Keeper

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
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Sep 17, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read in September, 2012

There are many people who write well, there are gifted storytellers; when the two are found in the same person the resulting prose is poetic in its ability to speak to the reader on the deepest levels of one’s soul while using the simplest of language. Mitch Albom proves himself to possess these dual abilities in this small, but powerful, parable of time, life, living, love and the power to celebrate eternity in the space between breaths.
The idea of time is a relatively recent concept. When humanity began keeping track of the passing of days, probably in order to have some measure of control of one’s environment, we also began a desire to “hoard” time and began considering the passing of time to be of more importance than the timeless moment. Mr. Albom does a superb job of bringing this hugely pondered idea (volumes have been written on various aspects of time) into a thought-provoking, easily comprehended, enjoyable allegory and takes only 220 (small) pages to accomplish the task.
Before there was time, people enjoyed life as it came. Planting, hunting, talking, arguing, laughing, watching were occurrences unnoticed as there was no cause to measure their existence. Someone (in this book, a man named Dor), did notice a “moment” and became aware that there would another “moment” the next day. He began to measure moments/hours/days/weeks/seasons to the point of distraction from all other endeavors. Dor’s knowledge caused him to want more of what was never needed to be known (time) first begging God for more time with his beloved Alli, then cursing God when that wish was not granted. As a result of his actions he was sealed in a cave for the next 6000 years, listening to the ever increasing voices of the world who were asking for time to be changed (more, slowed, rewound) until he learns the “lesson” of time. His task will be accomplished when he has taught two people, one wanting more time, one desiring less, the lessons he learned.
These few pages are packed with wisdom of The Moment. Mr. Albom acknowledges God’s influence in his life, but this work is not preachy, religious nor does it seek to convert those to read it to anything beyond becoming aware of the riches to be found in the absence of marking time. To become aware, to quote Kipling, “of the everlasting moment” holds all one desires, hopes for and can “possess” is the aim of this read.
I make my living “measuring time” (appointments are scheduled, limited in length, regular in their being proffered) and own more instruments to keep track of its passing than I care to count. I have never been able to save/spend/take out/waste/keep time except by measuring the anxiety I experience as I attempt any of those. My “addiction” to time is deep and, I fear, terminal. What I am learning, and this book is a welcome lesson in this particular tutorial, is that there are places where time becomes irrelevant – holding Wyndee’s hand, playing with children, eating good food, laughing with friends, feeling the sun/rain – and those are the places where I truly am living.
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