Balthandar is always sharing fables and stories from his homeland. I decided to share one today. It’s a classic about Timeshifts, and a favorite of mine. Still, it’s one that I never tell for fear that by doing so, somehow, I will reveal that I am a Timeshift myself. I cannot continue to harbor such fears, especially now that my companions know what I am and do not reject me.
Most people take this parable to mean one should appreciate the time they are given. I take it as a personal warning:
The Goblet of Time
There once was a farmer, who found life quite boring
His days seemed but toil, his work left him snoring.
The wife and three children he had were quite new
Excitement was lacking, good moments were few.
Then one day a Timeshift appeared at his door
The man wore a cloak, and a goblet he bore.
“This present for you,” his voice clearly chimed,
“Will help you move life on to happier times.”
The goblet was filled to the brim a deep red,
Ornate inlaid gold, and covered with gems.
“This liquid is time, which spans your whole life,
“Drink only a little and move past your strife.”
“The more that I drink now, the more time goes by?”
The Timeshift just nodded, the goblet held high.
“So hard times and boredom may be quickly past?”
“Only moments you love need tarry to last.”
The man took the goblet, “But what do I owe you?”
“An exchange, if you will. That time I can use.
“It will pass in a flash, but it must go somewhere,
“My reserves could use all of the time you can spare.”
“That time you may have,” said the man with a nod.
“For only through joy shall I take pause to trod.”
The Timeshift just smiled silent thanks as he parted,
And the farmer returned to the work he had started.
As he sweat and he toiled beneath the hot sun,
He thought, if he wanted, could quickly be done.
A sip from the chalice, very small on his lips,
He found the sun setting, by his field he did sit.
His work lay complete and sweat caked his brow,
Yet no memory formed of exactly how.
No satisfaction, though his muscles were sore,
Then he smiled to believe all the time changers’ lore.
When his children cried or his wife grew upset,
A drink from the chalice and he’d jump past regret.
Ne’er to remember all the things that he missed,
For he only spent time in the moments he wished.
Those moments seemed fewer as days carried on,
When they came they were quick, though he wanted them long.
His children grew distant, his world always changed,
And soon he knew little of what was arranged.
He couldn’t stand boredom, nor undergo strife,
Ne’er dealing with problems which seemed to run rife.
So he drank and moved time, from moment to moment,
Ne’er stopping to deal with his one true opponent.
He drank to move days and then months and then years,
His happiness waned in the shadow of fears.
His family were strangers, his life an unknown,
A hollowness burrowed down deep in his bones.
Then one day the goblet ran low to the dregs,
He saw wrinkled hands wringing tightly to beg.
Memories, he pled, either happy or sad,
But his life now was done, nothing more to be had.
For happiness builds upon difficult times,
And challenges bring our fulfilment as nigh.
True love comes through work, and great joy discipline,
To circumvent these then is foolhardy sin.
I love that. I will say this, though: I wish one could really siphon time off people. It would make me feel much more at ease with just how little I know I have.