Thursday, December 2, 2010

Not enough O's in Smooth

I’m watching the year tick slowly by at warp 9.9.  I know that sounds like a contradiction, but bear with me.
When we were kids – back when the earth was young, dirt was a relatively new concept, the wheel hadn’t yet been invented, and clocks were called sundials - we measured time much differently.  We said things like ‘I’m, four and a half’ being certain to emphasize the ‘and a half’ part.  Now that I’m knocking on the door of 58 (30 days from now, cash is a socially acceptable means of demonstrating your congratulations…or condolences.  Whatever.) I don’t think in halves any more.  I’d like to skip as many of the ‘wholes’ as I can, for that matter.
The idea of space and time being opposite sides of the same coin, and time being one of the universal constants, seems at great odds with my reality.
Let’s face it.  For most of us, it felt like it took about 25 years to get from 12 to 13, another 25 to get from 13 to 16, yet another to hit 18, and darn close to a lifetime to reach ‘legal’ at 21.
Yes, I’m being lazy and just typing numbers instead of spelling them out.  I’m not getting any younger, and my time may be limited,  so I have to take shortcuts where I can.  This much is certain, at 57 and a half - OK 57 and 11/12ths  - I have less time in front of me than behind me, at least on this plane.
I think the physicists and temporal theoreticians have it all wrong. Time definitely runs at different speeds depending how far along the timeline you have progressed.  My conclusion is predicated upon the idea that the 12 month span that dashes by me in nanoseconds takes years to cover the same temporal distance for my 8 year old grandson.  I think that’s part of the whole E=MC2 thing.  I’ll have to ask Hawking about it next time we chat.
What other explanation is there for Christmas Eve taking what feels like all of the 12 days of Christmas crammed into one night for the 5-year old who wakes up every 15 minutes and looks frustratingly at the clock, while his parents feel incredibly rushed to get all the gifts wrapped and under the tree in the same time frame, or for how the trip home from Grandma’s house seems to take much less time than the trip there, even though the distance is constant for either direction (are we there yet)?  Could the explanation be simply the same as that of beauty?  That perception is reality as experienced by the one doing the perceiving?
I don’t know.  I only know that time seems to be passing more quickly now that I have less of it in the hourglass that makes up the days of my life, and it feels like some sort of quantum conundrum has been put in play so that as the sands fall, they pick up speed in the dropping.  As though the closer you get to the event horizon of eternity, the faster it draws you in.
And that leads me to the concept of 5/4 time.  Musicians know what I’m talking about.  It seems to go against nature.  Or it did until Dave Brubeck recorded Take-5.  There’s not enough O’s in smooth to describe it, but it’s just the right speed, and takes just the right time.
And was that a clever segue, or what?
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