Spending a Day

Yesterday, my wife and I took a day off from our usual activities to travel to New Shoreham, RI, aka Block Island. When we planned the trip, I am sorry to confess, it occurred to me, a native Rhode Islander, that I had never been to Block Island. At least, not that I could recall.

I’d been on fishing charters near the island but have no recollection of actually setting foot on the island. For those of you who only know Rhode Island as the smallest state in the union, considering that over the (almost) 65 years of life, traveling all over the world, I never ventured the 13 miles off the coast to visit Block Island, might seem odd.

It is not. It is a Rhode Island thing.

For those of us born here, we consider any trip of more than 10 miles an expedition that may involve suitcases, maps, and bag lunches,

But that’s not the point of this piece.

If one really thinks about it, you cannot kill time, time is killing us.


On the way back on the ferry I said, “That was a nice way to spend the day.”

And it was, but the expression, “spend the day,” caught my imagination. Every day we are alive we are “spending the day.” In most cases it is more expending the day; caught up as we are in the daily habits and responsibilities of life, but we are nevertheless deducting one more day from our very finite total.

This led me to the expression, killing time. If one really thinks about it, you cannot kill time, time is killing us. Each passing moment brings one nearer and nearer to the last second.

Despite the pleasant music and lyrics of the Rolling Stones song Time is On Our Side, it is not. Time may be, as Einstein said, “a stubbornly persistent illusion,” but we cannot kill it, or save it, or stop it.

We can’t even slow it down.

We can, however, take time to notice it. To pay attention to it. And to “spend” it wisely. Anything else would be a waste of time.


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