The Time Keeper
by Mitch Albom
Despite our best human efforts, we have not found a way to contain, control, or even effectively measure time. Despite our best human efforts, we have not even found a way to properly understand it. In this short fable, Mitch Albom explores the elusive qualities of time and the perils of trying to cheat it, extend it or grasp it too firmly.
This story begins with Dor, the first man to notice the similarities between the shadow cast by the sun one day and the shadow cast by the sun the next. Dor starts to predict the shadow castings, making him the first man to try to capture time. He is also the first man to experience the dangers of trying to contain time in neat little packages. His obsession with counting it and measuring it leads to a torturous banishment and then to encounters with two others who want to manipulate time. Sarah, a socially awkward teenager, and Victor, a wealthy entrepreneur, must learn their own lessons about unconditionally accepting the universal gift of time.
Albom’s thought-provoking fable illuminates our human obsession with running our lives on schedule, and the ultimate futility of doing so. It’s a call to align ourselves with the frequency of the universe and to become like two tuning forks vibrating at the same frequency. It’s a call to live on the pulse of nature’s time and not our human interpretation of it.
In the acknowledgements at the end of this book, Albom sends thanks to his “faithful readers, the ones who picked up this book without even asking what it was about”. I am one such reader of Albom. He had me at Tuesdays with Morrie. This book did not move me as much as Tuesdays with Morrie or Have a Little Faith,but it did leave me pondering the morals of the story. It did make me a little more mindful my relationship with time. It’s a simple tale with complex layers.
It’s also a short book, and reading it doesn’t take much time.