"Altogether, the task of estimating the length of human life (of animals' we presume not to speak) is beyond our capacity, for directly we say that it is ages long, we are reminded that it is briefer than the fall of a rose leaf to the ground. Of the two forces which alternately, and what is more confusing still, at the same moment, dominate our unfortunate numbskulls - brevity and diuturnity - Orlando was sometimes under the influence of the elefant-footed deity, then of the gnat-winged fly. Life seemed to him of prodigious length. Yet even so, it went like a flash."
Orlando, Virginia Woolf