time gathered up

Those who say that even the young posess and know time, even though they thoughtlessly live for the future dimension, which is also time, such persons have never yet had the experience of feeling for themselves that time is nothing-but-time. This future into which the young tumble … is, to be sure, not time at all: it is world or, more exactly, it is space. The young say of themselves that they have time before them. But what really lies before them is the world, which they absorb and by which they let themselves at the same time be branded. The idea is that the old have life behind them, but this life that is no longer actually lived is nothing but time gathered up, lived, passed away.

To the young, that which they believe to be time becomes consciously an impatient expectation for what is coming to them and is properly due to them after the course of life and death. Time is for them something that obviously moves in space and will enter and step into their life and into them. Characteristically, one is more liekly to say of a young person that the world is open to him rather than that he has time before him.

Améry, On Aging, 14

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