Friday, May 21, 2010

Another week bites the dust



The Mayans had their three calendars that somehow they were able to reconcile, or so it says in a book I read a few years ago. How did they do it? I was unable to wrap my mind around the explanations offered in the book, probably because time, in smaller or larger increments, doesn't make sense to me.

I've posted before about what I call the geometry of time. If you're traveling east, you are moving forward in time, for instance. Traveling south during the summer months means you are moving forward in seasonal time, though if you go up into the mountains, you will move backwards in seasonal time. I've written before, so won't again, about how, once you take off in an airplane, you really aren't in any earthly time, except maybe "day" or "night." Time zones are rather arbitrary, too. The sun sets sooner on the eastern edge of a time zone than on the western edge, but allegedly the whole zone is experiencing time the same way? Says who?

Speaking of HUH?? what about the International Date Line? I can never remember if, when crossing that line, it becomes tomorrow or yesterday or what that means. I read blogs written by people in Australia, Africa, Europe and North America so even by reading these blogs I am time traveling. Sheesh.

We have our seven day weeks, the origin of which no one really knows, then we have our lunar months which are quite wonky in that they don't align with the phases of moon, and the solar year that has to be adjusted every four years or so because it isn't quite right either. None of these systems line up exactly. We try, but it's like attempting to jam a puzzle piece into a space that almost fits.

I'm thinking about this today because I'm wondering where in the world did this week go? It flew hard and fast, and now it's done and time for me to go back to work. What happened?? Huh?? Please explain?

25 comments:

ellen abbott said...

wish I could help you out but I'll look up and a whole month has gone by.

NanU said...

hey! cloud! over there!
China has just one time zone for the whole country, Bejing time. So people in Tibet might get up at 9 am in midsummer and it's still dark out. The whole time thing is just some arbitrary invention. I live by Time for Coffee, time to let the cat out/in/out/in/out, time for lunch, and time for The Weekend.

Reya Mellicker said...

NanU - YES. We can all set our own time zones according to our rhythms. So mine would be morning routine, write blog, take walk. then lunch.

Etc. Love this.

Expat From Hell said...

I remember once that a pilot for Garuda Airlines (Indonesia) said that when they crossed the Equator, they would announce to the passengers and jiggle their steering devices simultaneously. Kind of like giving us a physical effect over something imaginary. Like time lines, huh? Love your thought process, Reya. Time to let the dog out, take a walk, have a beer. EFH

Linda Sue said...

Arbitrary time- I notice it most when i look at a reflexion of me- that can be measured visually. Either it's daytime or night time or parking downtown free time- However I am always early for appointments or meetings- I think it is because I don't want to screw up time.I don't think it is something that can be "wasted"...as long as we are alive, that should be enough.

Reya Mellicker said...

Linda Sue - I am ALWAYS on time, or a bit early. It's one of the ways that I imagine I have control.

Ha ha

Deborah said...

Have you read Einstein's Dreams? It's a series of stories about time--higher you go, time slows--the rich live up high--longer lives.

I've always believed that G-d is not bound by time and exists simultaneously in all time which means G-d knows what was, is and will be without interfering with our free will.

Time is increasingly important to me as I am aware of having less and less of it--I hope to talk to you soon.

Love and more love to you

Tom said...

all my weeks are like that...they go faster when you split the work week up into 2 days and 3 days...life seems to be evaporating into a cloud of wispy steam--

ewix said...

Like you and Linda Sue,
I'm always prompt or even early.
I once did a paper on St. Augustine's theory of time and made references to Thomas Mann.
How did I manage to pass that course.....?
I find time infinitely troubling...

Norma said...

You're kidding, right? Don't know the origin of the 7 day week? If the timing of the universe were off even a fraction of a second, we wouldn't be here. Every cell in your body contains more information than the entire Ency. Britannica--you're made up of information and Someone, the same who designed the 7 day week, wrote your story.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I think the gentleman on the horse knows the answer and he's pointing yu in the right direction!

steven said...

reya i just sat in a classroom with thrity nervous students who have become as much my life as my own children and in a handful of weeks they will become a part of my past. fifteen and a half years ago i held my baby boy in my arms, thriteen and a half years ago i held my baby girl. sometimes i spend an hour in the woods and it seems as if days or even weeks have passed. time is a way of organizing experience bit it sure is easy to mess with - and it loves to mess with us! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

time is a way of organizing experience but it sure is easy to mess with - and it loves to mess with us!

Oh yeah!

Ronda Laveen said...

The rabbit stole it? I don't know where time goes but it does feel to be accelerating. And not just by me.

Time is just a convention...a way for the keeper to mark seasons and planting and harvesting. Why it has to be kept so many different ways, I'll never know.

Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne said...

Oops. I had too many typos in that comment, so that was me hitting the delete key.

I have had the same problem commenting on your blog that you were having earlier with mine. We are truly on the same wavelength!

I will try and say what I said before ...

Time is so strange. Right now my husband is on the other side of the international date line in Japan. When he is starting his day, mine is ending and vice-versa. Our conversations are a bit disjointed because either I have slept all night and have nothing to say or he has.

He is sitting in a natural hot spring spa with naked men but he is the only blond American in the group. Hah!

He is eating sashimi and I am eating leftovers.

Time is a funny thing indeed. Who really knows what time it is?

Reya Mellicker said...

Lynne, don't ask me! Hope he's soon home, safe and sound. The two of you should be swimming around in your pool sometime soon, yes? Hope so.

Kerry said...

Glad to hear somebody besides me has confusing time-related thoughts. This year in my 6th grade art classes we looked at one of the Mayan calendars, the big round one, and I found myself very fuzzily trying to explain it all. Like I understand it. I understand it about as well as I get the history of the Balkans, which I have repeatedly tried to sort out, to little or no avail.

Angela said...

Reya, thanks very much for your comment on mine. I knew you`d understand. We can be friends, regardless.

Susan said...

This has been on my mind, too, Reya.
It scares me a little, how fast the weeks fly.
My mom always used to say, "Don't wish your life away."
But it's flying and I want to just slow down a little. I know how to do it, but I forget to when I'm in the nine to five groove...I just put your head down and pull the plow and before I know it another day is over.
I don't want that to be a metaphor for my life.

John Hayes said...

Einstein on time: "If you speak with an attractive woman for an hour, it seems like a moment; if you sit on a hot stove for a moment, it seems like an hour." The time zone thing is very arbitrary--I believe it was set up in this country at least to accomodate the railroads. But in southestern Idaho, we're on Mountain Time. All of northern Idaho--even places quite far to the east of here--is on Pacific Time--it sure gets dark early in towns like Orofino, ID (Pacific Time), while in the summer, it's light here until close to 11:00 p.m.

Jane said...

Posts like this one are one of the reasons I adore you so!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Jane!

The history of the Balkans? You're a brave man, Kerry!

Cyndy said...

For me the flow of time is affected by daily routines and schedules, or sometimes lack thereof, the seasons, how far north or south I am, lightness, darkness, temperature, how much fun I'm having, and how busy or unbusy I am. It's all relative, but what it's relative to can change at any time - there doesn't seem to be a general pattern except for passing more quickly the older I get.

Back when I was traveling more, I always used to enjoy the slight change in perspective that would come with each new time zone. It's like a game in a way.

Pauline said...

funny - I had an eight day week! interesting how we perceive the same world so differently, isn't it?