- The best accidental read.
- This book reminds me so much of The Alchemist, I can’t even.
So, I have to admit I’m old (as for sure measured by technological aptitude, but who am I kidding also by age). I had to practice downloading books from my local library on my new Kindle. Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper was the first thing I saw on the immediately available book list that I was mildly interested in. I was sitting in a coffee shop and had just finished Eleanor & Park, and thought to myself, why not; let’s just give it a few pages, to see if it downloaded correctly.
I was hooked from the opening sentence. I’ve always loved the concept of Father Time. I’ve imagined him to be an old man, white beard, kind eyes, wise, and humble. I blindly assumed Father Time to love his job. I would even venture to say he would’ve chosen his job over and over again in heartbeat. And here I am, faced with a man who worshipped the concept of time without actually knowing what time is, a scientist of sorts trying to measure time, who essentially gets punished for his actions, banned to a timeless job, and forced to become Father Time. He was lonely, miserable, and sad. His job seemed cruel to me. Yet, lovely at the same time. Maybe I am romanticizing this concept, but time is such an artificial thing to me that it borders at magic. Time is a man-made concept but seems so applicable to everything around us that it almost appears as if it was just waiting to be discovered.
This book shook me to the core as it tackled something we all struggle with so often: we want more time or we want less of it, we want to fit time into a mold that suits our needs best at any given moment, and we want to take complete control. Albom depicts this in small lessons that take our fatherly scientist protagonist across time to save two individuals: one wanting to live forever and the other not wanting to live anymore. Most impressively, the author has a knack for weaving in things that we have all encountered in an age of more and more technology ruling our lives, the faster the pace the better, getting to know people is overrated, and nature what is that even. While devouring this story I found myself constantly questioning life decisions I’ve made, things I put value on, and actions I’ve taken. And as I said in my Goodreads review, the thing that struck out to me most is that human arrogance knows no bounds. This self-made conceit that we can manipulate time to our liking without consequences and these childish demands to do as we say is mind-boggling and Albom really made me wake up to this.
I read this book in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. And I had one of the worst book hangovers as soon as I finished the last sentence. Albom made me feel empty, in a good way. This is one of those lessons that I have to and want to relearn as often as possible, so when I feel myself slipping up and falling into my old traps, I will be picking the book up again and again until I finally learned this all-important concept: time is what it is, take it or leave it, but don’t try to mess with it, because this is the only way we can preserve the magic that is contained within and keep ourselves grounded along the way.