Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Matter of Time

I don't usually work Mondays or at least I haven't for a long time. Working Monday made it feel as if something unusual happened.

It felt like we took lunch late in the day.  I had no idea what time it was, but it felt like late.  A couple hours later, I asked my co-worker what time it was (she wears a watch) and it was 3:30 p.m. That hardly seemed right.

I think I asked her a dozen times after that.  Something felt so wrong.  Completely wrong.  It was just wrong.  And hour later, after I was sure we had worked long and late I asked her again.   

What the heck was wrong with me, that the day felt so late, yet hardly any time had passed.  She said the same thing.

Ahhhh.  Time change. That was what was going on.  The light from the south window was telling us it was later than it was. I had been  been following the light cues all day and the long, long DST adjustment made everything feel wrong. 

I hate time change. And this fall change is the easy change. You get to sleep later.

The real measure of time is experienced more than measured.  If we are knitting something that is deeply valued by us, time moves at lightnings pace. If we are waiting for our pot of tea to boil, time moves slowly. If you are waiting for a treasured daughter in law`s paperwork to clear the governments bureaucracy, time moves at a glacial pace.  

Our ancient ancestors would have marked the passage of time by the rise and fall of the sun and where that sun set on the horizon.  They would have watched weather and temperature as well to mark the times they needed to measure to survive.  Small measures of hours were pretty meaningless.  

We no longer allow ourselves the luxury of experiencing time the way our ancestors did, large scale watching the movements of the sun and the earth.  We have mangled the whole notion of time. Time is measured and ordered and sorted within an inch of our lives.  Our species likes this sort of order, I suppose but really, does that harshly measured time mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

And that wasn`t enough.  We invented Daylight Savings Time, and try to convince ourselves we actually gain rather than just shifting our measure of time to start at minus one rather than one.
Standard Time Zones
 It is a way of thinking that is slightly less logical than this map of  the legislated time zones of Canada.  It looks goofy.  I mean, half hour later in Newfoundland.  It is goofy.

Still it is the way we measure our lives.  And goofy measure or not I have an appointment this morning that I have to keep.  Maybe if I take my knitting, the pleasure of it will offset the tedium of the wait and 10 minutes will only feel like 10 minutes.  

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