Measured by grains of quartz passing through glasses on the bureaus of viscounts and desks of diplomats. Calculated by the elaborate skeleton of the galaxy flexing and churning with exact precision. This our ancestors have grown to know, predict, decode. Fingers on the pulse of the universe, letting it tell us when we are, despite its inconceivable indifference.
It may be calculated by the stars and sand. But the behemoth of time cannot be suggested, coaxed in one direction or another. It does not listen to pleas and desires. It does not monitor toil, sacrifice, jubilation, or suffering. It lumbers ever onward. So we know.
The sands of the hourglass are passive, predictable and driven by simple forces. The drip of blood and the tumble of sand are both regular and measurable, though the dynamics change. Viscosity and coagulation. The smell of rust and the hints of life.
But blood lives, breathes, and decays. Unlike the crushed crystals of sand, its energy is secret. Behind a cupric red façade lies a host of energies that the Great Skeleton did not know before, but it unwittingly desires. Therein lies the key to the impetus, a hidden motivator. For the very universe itself to turn its head slightly in response to what it thought it heard, smelled, tasted.
Where there exists a wanting, a will forms.
And so a will can be broken.