Quote of the Week: King Henry VIII

I’ve been thinking a lot about time. It seems the more of it that has passed, the quicker it moves, and the more I wish it would slow down.

As a child, I couldn’t wait for the passage of time. I was anxious to get to the end of the school day, the end of the school year, the end of my youth. I yearned for the wisdom that time and experience would afford me.

Now I often wish to freeze time, to defy the laws of nature, somehow. It seems there is never enough time to accomplish the things I want to do.

I imagine time is like a snowball set in motion on a high mountaintop. Starting out small, it gingerly descends the slopes, and as it accumulates in size, it picks up speed until it is barreling down the mountainside. It’s subject to the laws of gravity, seemingly unstoppable, unless it collides with another object. In this case, the end is instantaneous and unexpected as it shatters into a million tiny pieces. But if it’s path is unhindered it will continue to roll until the grade of the slope diminishes and eventually comes to rest where it is left to melt in the warmth of the coming spring.

If we make it that far, I wonder if we come full circle and begin to pray for the passage of time again.

“Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.” King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII: [Voiceover prologue] When we compare the present life of man on Earth with that time of which we have no knowledge, it seems to me like a swift flight of a single sparrow through a banquet hall on a winter’s day. After a few moments of comfort, he vanishes from sight into the wintry world from which he came. Even so, man appears on Earth for a little while, but of what went before this life or what will follow, we know nothing.

King Henry VIII: [Opening lines] In these last days I’ve been thinking a great deal about loss. What loss, your grace, is to man most irrecoverable?

Charles Brandon: His virtue.

King Henry VIII: No, for by his actions, he may redeem his virtue.

Charles Brandon: Then, his honor.

King Henry VIII: No, for again he may find the means to recover it, even as a man recovers some fortune he has lost.

Charles Brandon: Then I can’t say, Your Majesty.

King Henry VIII: Time, your grace. Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.


4 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: King Henry VIII”

  1. I think we do hit an age where we want time to move quickly. I can think of people whose body has given up on them at a very old age saying this. Maybe the snowball is on a giant ramp with that upward slope at the end.

    1. I had two great grandparents (mother’s grandmother and father’s grandfather) who died just short of becoming centenarians. I don’t remember either of them wishing for death, but maybe that is one of the secrets to living a long life.

  2. I have to agree with you. I wish it would slow down. my grandchildren are growing up so fast that i barely have time to enjoy one stage before they are into the next. My body is beginning to age in ways that i really did not expect. i feel the clock ticking, not only hear it.

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