Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Did someone see that truck's license plate...

It has been a long day, a long week, a long month, and a very long year.  At the same time, this year, this month, this week, and today have zoomed by incredibly fast.  Combine the two perspectives and it feels like I have been hit by the proverbial truck.  I'm always astounded by the fact that time can pass slowly and quickly concurrently; I'm convinced that somewhere within this particular temporal phenomenon is the secret to time travel.  (I have been watching Star Trek Voyager lately... can you tell?)

I am fascinated by time and memory though, I always have been.  The whole arrow of time, entropy, the third law of thermodynamics, etc all have a special place in the back of my mind.  I've even written a story or two about time, time travel, and the whole space-time continuum thingy. 

I am fairly sure that we have all experienced the feeling that some things pass by quickly and other things don't.  Ask anyone who is sitting in a dentist's chair how time is passing for them, and I am pretty sure you will get a different answer than that given by someone who is having the time of their life.  Is there a real temporal shift going on here, or is it just perspective?  The answer may seem obvious, but again, it depends on who you ask.  I know people who are convinced that we control the speed of time without being aware of it, and there is no convincing them otherwise.

The reality of all this is that time passes no matter what.  We can't change it, stop it, or even turn it around.  Everything we experience throughout our lives is coloured by our perspective, even time... or should I say especially time.  I have started reading a book and eight hours later realized that it was eight hours later but it felt like only a few minutes had passed.  My middle child had to have laser treatment when she was six months old.  The actual treatment lasted maybe 30 seconds to a minute, but my heart was breaking as she cried in pain and fear, and it felt like an eternity.  I believe that there is a corollary here: The more enjoyable the experience the faster that time flies and the more un-enjoyable the experience the slower that time drags by.  I'm sure that someone out there has made a mathematical formula out of this to torture math students with.

Back to the truck I mentioned earlier... We can get the license plate of that truck by simply adjusting our perspective.  That's the easy part... saying it, that is... the hard part is doing it.  It takes a lot of self control to be in control of time, or our perspective of the passage of time.  We can easily make ourselves aware of it, but can we really control how we perceive it?  Anyone who has watched a clock knows that just by making yourself aware of the time and counting the minutes along with it will slow the clock right down.  If you don't believe me, try it.  The second that you start counting the seconds is the point in time at which the universe seems to slow down.  Conversely, the moment you lose yourself in an enjoyable activity, time speeds up, and you can't measure it, because again, the moment you do so... well, you get my point.

Speaking about 'time', it is time for me to finish this post.  So without further time spent, I will end this in a timely fashion.  I hope that you are looking forward to the next time I post.  Until then, have a good time, be on time, and take the time to smell the roses.  It's high time that more of us did so...

1 comment:

  1. That's so true. It's like a concentrated emotion will change time. If the emotion is negative, time slows and the endurance is so agonizing. However, if the emotion is positive, time seems to fly and you just can't get enough of the flight.