William D. Higginson

The Tyranny of Time

08 of 22 in a collection from William D. Higginson

William D. Higginson
Jun 8, 2022
2 min read


The Tyranny of Time.

Ruled by seconds, who comes first?  The last man standing?

Time rules over us without mercy, a tyrant that cannot be placated with pleas to its better nature, beseeched with or turned with words.  And yet…we enthroned it, bestowed upon it the triple crown of kingdoms Past, Present and Future, so that we might make sense of our existence.

Without us, then, does Time exist?  Is it possible to dismantle its reign…and should we want to?  Can the demise of a dictator be anything other than good?  Is revolution ever a solution, or simply a changing of the guard?  And what is a clock but a series of endless revolutions, producing no change, only movement?

The mainspring of all revolution is in the insignificant; the ticking of a clock, the loosening of a nut, the Fall of Roman numerals.  Sabotage, or salvage?  5th column, or V for victory?

Who is this hollowman?  Watchmaker bent on repair, or architect of destruction?  Saviour in a Savile Row suit, or Spanner in the Works?  Eyewitness to entropy, or simply watching the clock?

Hollowed out by his enslavement to Time, or in pursuit of the ideologies Time decrees?

Labouring under a watchful eye, beaten down by routine, mechanical - going through the motions, a cog in a vast machine.  In such a regime, hope is rendered anachronistic.  But the fallen V, the chink in the armour…the catalyst for change.  For the enslaved, the realisation of the ruler’s fallibility is fertile soil for thoughts of freedom, escape.

And so it goes, the Romans knew it – the centre doesn’t hold.  Many come to bury Time, not to praise it.  But what of the power vacuum left in its wake – who, or what, rushes to fill the void, claim the kingdoms?

This vacuum is mirrored in the empty suit, which is being filled - by the lotus.  A flower capable of emerging clean and pure even from the muddiest, most unlikely waters.  Symbol of death, rebirth, spiritual awakening, and prosperity…but prosperity of what nature, and for whom?

And what of the briefcase and its strange content?  Who knows – perhaps he has been carrying with him all along the key to his freedom, that as soon as he put down the burden he carried, change could flower even in the most unlikely of places.

Or maybe it’s just a spanner.

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