I hear, or read of, people who have had some life-threatening experience – be it illness or accident or natural disaster – who then see time completely differently. I confess. I am one of them…sorta.
I am married to an ardent amateur astronomer. I gave birth to a daughter whose Bachelor DegreeS were in Astronomy, Physics, and Astrophysics. Both of them are good teachers. But I just cannot understand (insert deep male echo chamber voice):
I frequently fall asleep to the bedroom television tuned to the Science Channel, only to wake in the middle of the night to some world-class astronomer talking about some facet of (spooky voice again):
It’s not space. It’s not time. It’s both. At the same time. Or neither. Or, or, or…
Or my alarm clock.
Mine died several months ago, and Bob bought one for me from K Mart. From the first time we plugged it in, the time it displayed was inexplicable. Hours fast, then slow. Changing by tens of minutes one way or another, then back to hours. Other than when we first set it, it has never maintained the correct time.
The obvious solution would have been to take it back for a new one. Nope. I have decided that my alarm clock actually exists in some other dimension, and the time it displays is actually (voice):
While Bob and Clair would discuss something scientific, Bob3 (son – I’ll explain another time) and I would invent fantasies or poetry. Allegory and metaphor. It was, and continues to be, the only way he and I could make sense of the science and math.
So “September Song”, whose lyrics name this blog. (And please excuse the commercial at the beginning of the video. I’m just learning this stuff – oh, Sophie! Where are you when I need your 6-year-old computer expertise?)
I have always found it poignant. More so, since the cancer. But, is it a “long, long time” or do the “days dwindle down”?
As snobby as it sounds, time is just a human construct. Otherwise, we would keep time based on sunrise and sunset – without segmenting the seasonal differences. Parts of my life speed on. I was told the average survival for my type of cancer was 5 years, and the average survival for the stem cell transplant was 4 years. I am beyond both deadlines, and still here. On the other hand, worries about my family, my country, the planet seem to go on and on, endlessly. My life is fading fast and ploddingly slow at one and the same time.