When I was a kid, the idea of daylight savings was completely bizarre to me. We just get to decide to move time around? What is the committee that makes this call and how do I get on it? Talk about power!
I heard a song recently (Laundry Room by The Avett Brothers) that has the line, “I am a breathing time machine.” What a fascinating idea, that I am traveling through time, just like Marty McFly, trying to learn how to influence and discover what is true. All of those time-traveler stories are exaggerated by propelling characters into the distant past or future, often at their own pace. What they call “the present” is a set moment or period of time. We don’t really live that way. Our past, present, and future are all folding in on one another, time bleeding into itself, braided into a mystery.
Nothing is more indicative of the idea that we made up the concept of time than the fact we change it. We change it a couple times a year to more conveniently align with the lives we are trying to live.
Searching for Reality
Time, just like everything else, is a resource with which we have to try to discover what is true and how to live in the aftereffects of that discovery.
Why do we do things? Why do we make the choices we make? What factors limit us and which set us free?
We talk a lot about “managing” or “wasting” our time. We use phrases like “spending my time”. All of this is the language of commerce. It speaks to a resource being utilized.
Every daylight savings time shift feels a little like New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A chance. That precious hour is “lost” or “gained”, but the real value is the reminder of its preciousness.
A Universe of Galaxies
There are few things on Earth I enjoy more than walking into a bookstore. Each book shop is a universe, full of galaxies, each telling a story. Think of all the worlds represented in a bookstore. The legal thriller, the romance, the historical biographies that are stranger than fiction. Stories from France and England, China, and Nigeria. Stories set among the stars and in midwest America.
All of our stories, whether written or lived, are an attempt to discover the truth.
We like stories because they say something about the truth. They may twist facts or setting, but they attempt to say something that is true. All of those galaxies in the bookstore are exploring the truth of life in this world, whether they are set here or not.
These stories may play with time, just like we do. They may send us to imagined planets. It often feels like “an escape” and we often treat it as such. But really, the stories we tell, live, read, and watch are attempts to communicate enigmatic truth in a variety of ways.
One day of my year will, effectively, have twenty-three hours in it and another twenty-five. Unique days. Unique chances to make the most of time. To tell stories. And, most important, to find the heart of my own.