There are authors we begin to read at some point in our lives and there are those that we shelved and let go of. I remembered being crazy over Danielle Steele, Cynthia Freeman and Johanna Lindsay, then I ran through John Grisham and Louis L’Amour. In addition, I am a big fan of Paulo Coelho, J. K. Rowling, and C. S. Lewis. Flipping hungrily through the pages of their books has been a passion and a commitment. I spent years loving their write-ups, collecting their books, and stacking them neatly in my cupboard. However as the time goes by, my devotion has wavered and the time I expend in reading books has lessened.
Recently, I received a gift from a very good friend whom I used to work with in Saudi Arabia. It’s a book written by Mitch Albom who was behind the international bestseller, Tuesdays with Morrie.
This book, THE TIMEKEEPER, was about TIME and how Dor, the one who invented the world’s first clock was punished because he tried to measure time. He can redeem himself though and lift the cursed of an immortal life that is empty and unhappy by teaching two people the true meaning of time.
Banished for eternity in a cave, he came back to the world on a mission: to help a teenage girl who was about to give up on life because of an uncompensated love and a wealthy, ageing man who wants to beat death and live past his lifetime. To save himself, he must save them both.
The book was not an easy read. You have to internalize it slowly in order to understand its depth. There were three stories condensed and interconnected with each other.
First was the story of Dor who was gifted with measuring time through water, sticks, and shadows. He fell in love and had a family. They had a simple and happy life but because of man’s greed for power, Dor and his wife was banished elsewhere. There, they had to struggle daily in order to live and when Ali, Dor’s wife, became sick, Dor had to climb the tower that was built to reach the heaven to find a cure. Unfortunately, when he was ascending the stairs, the slaves who were building the tower climbed as well. The tower collapsed and the people who greedily climb had a great fall. This can be assumed as the story of The Tower Of Babel. In man’s quest to have a God-like power, The Omnipotent One punished them through language differences so that they can’t easily communicate with each other.
The second part was about Victor Delamonte, a self made man who was embittered by his experiences in life. His father died when he was young and his mother committed suicide. Although he was a compassionate and gentle young man who prays for yesterdays to happen again so that he can relish good memories with his loved ones, his parents death and his hardships when he went to the US changed him. He believed that holding on to things or people will only break his heart.
While reading this part, I can’t help but cry. I remembered someone from a not so distant memory. I was broken into pieces when I realized that I can never have him for myself but then it also dawned on me that when he came into my life, I was very happy. They say that when people are most alone, they embrace each other’s loneliness. I had to agree with that though I was not so alone during that time. Accepting and loving him in a short span of time might be questionable, but I know myself well and I loved him. Again, I do not regret. It’s just the way it has to be and I have to accept it and move on.
Victor had a terminal disease with only a few weeks left to live. He can’t accept the fact that a man his statue who is a genius at cracking open a weak spot is susceptible to death. He knew he can’t beat human mortality with conventional means so he planned on freezing himself through cryonics – the preservation of human for later reanimation, that might help him outlast his last days on earth.
On the other hand, Sarah Lemon is a teenager who was led to believe she was loved by a casual guy. Because she came from a broken family, she thought that Ethan, who gave her some special attention is sincere with her and that he can complete the void that she felt. That had led to herself giving everything to Ethan. Sometimes, when you are not getting the love that you want, giving makes you think you will, but this is an absurd lie. It was heartbreaking that some people will tend to appear nice just to score to the point of showing you the stars, the moon and the sky. And when they get what they wanted, they will transform from a sheep to a leopard. Well, it’s not really entirely a guy’s fault. Of course, they love the chase and the challenge and once they caught their catch and outwon their struggle, they will purr satisfyingly without looking back. It’s their nature, some of course, but not the entire race of male specie and girls should be aware of that. Men who are ignorant should know that not all women are strong. Not all can stand the humiliation of being used. Some girls became better versions of themselves after a heartbreak, but others, like Sarah Lemon can’t fight their depression and has the tendency to succumb to the easiest escape from shame_ death.
The book doesn’t want to tell us about broken hearts, though it is an important element in the story. Albom’s book tells us about our notion of time and just how significant it truly is. Some of us wants to speed up time that we forget to appreciate what we have in the moment. Others however want to defy time and in the process, they overlook what is really essential in life. The impending death of a rich man made him crazy over finding a way to escape it that he missed the opportunity to spend his remaining days with his wife who longs to show him her love the best way she can. The shame and heartbreak of a teenager made her gaga over ending her very life without looking back at her mother who wants to reach out to her and who cares and loves her unconditionally.
Dor was able to help the two realized how important it is to live in your own time. A quest for more minutes, more hours or faster progress will lose our sense of contentment and the simple joys of living. Let us live for the moment and be happy about what we have or whom we are with.
It is never too late or too soon. Let’s not wait for the time to realize what we have lost because we were so preoccupied about other things. Let me borrow the sentence from the book :
“There is a reason why God limits our days. It is to make each one precious.”
I am a simple minded reader and this book has given me so much lesson about appreciating the time that I have with my family, my friends, my co- workers, my pets, and every one that has to play a part in my life. There are moments that I have treasured, that made me smile and contented. There are also memories that are best kept aside and buried but I have to remember them once in a while to remind me that I survived the tempest.
My friend, Ate Janice who gave me the book as a farewell gift, told me that TIME IS BOTH AN ENEMY AND A FRIEND. Indeed! But because I have decided to be happy and optimistic all the way, TIME will be my friend and I intend to use it wisely to my advantage.
I hope this review helps.
Sunflower Girl 🌻