The ambiguity of the “of” in the phrase “the gift of time” is confusing but ultimately helpful. There ARE two interpretations, and each has its truth.
Time presupposes its other as eternity. This is dialectical logic and is supported by usage. So we can say that time is the gift of eternity. “The gift of time.”
The second interpretation is also valid: all things happen in time. “The gifts of time.” This is a matter of contention, perhaps; idealists protest but the logic holds in usage. The space we live and move in is temporal; we are temporal. Every thing is the gift of time.
Author: Tom D'Evelyn
Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at email@example.com. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.
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One thought on “Aphorism: The Gift of Time”
Also, inverted, the title of the best travel memoir ever written, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts.
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