The Motto

”Who am I to Judge time?”


     One important feature of a sundial is its Motto - some sort of quote or message about time. Some brief reflection on its fleeting nature or the importance of Now is quite appropriate. Sayings like Carpe Diem or Tempus Fugit are common. To quote a century-old book about sundials having mottoes of admonition - " ... the motto should be true to the human heart, above its sorrows and trials, reaching to daily experience and highest hopes."

     I’d been collecting quotes from many sources, from Einstein (Time is an illusion) to Leonardo da Vinci (several good ones) to Dr. Seuss (How did it get so late, so soon?) to Pink Floyd (The sun is the same, in a relative way, but you’re older ...) and many, many others. I needed an appropriate and unique quote for my once-in-a-lifetime sundial, and had accumulated dozens of candidates.

     Selection time was up, literally. The data was complete, the art was largely done, and the only major feature left was the motto. We were leaving town for a month and I simply had to pick one. I sat down with my lists and started ranking them, circling some and pondering each of them. Tough competition, for sure. 

     At that very moment, and with no idea what I was working on, my wife sent along a New York Times article by a friend of the family, Ari Diaconis. He had passed away shortly before its publication. I read it, and the very last line just rang the bell for me. I knew immediately what was going on the wall. I just put away my quote collection and stopped worrying.


     Give yourself the time to read his article - it really is worth the effort:


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May a Thousand Sundials Bloom!