Time to work

Working non-standard hours has made me more aware of how we are aware of time.

I work 12 hours on each weekend day and 6 hours on one day in the week. Usually Tuesday, but that can be changed if either LabCorp or I need it to. And they pay me for a 40 hour week, so that works.

My husband has his office in our house and has to go out into the world for work related stuff about once a week. Usually, he does it on Wednesday. He’s a real estate lawyer and there are closings, title searches, recordings of deeds of trust and picking up and dropping off of checks all over 3 or 5 counties that have to happen in certain orders. That can cause his travel day to shift, but the shift doesn’t happen often. He is usually able to aim things so that one day in the middle of the week is the only driving around that is required.

I usually wake up in the morning and think “Today is …” and know when I am.

This week has been … off. I didn’t work yesterday because a friend was traveling through and we made plans for her to stop off here for dinner as she passed by. So, I swapped my week day work day to Thursday. And Chuck had to “do his running around” on Monday because that was when something that needed to happen was due.

Just now, I had to look at my computer to be sure what day of the week it is. It makes me wonder about how I will relate to time when I don’t have to go to work any more. My friends are getting to the age of retirement. I wonder if the things they do (classes, volunteering, religious services, regular visits to friends and family) are ways of regulating their time in addition to being interesting to them. Serving as a fixed point in the week.

I recognize that the way we divide days into hours and collect them into weeks and months and years is how we arrange to work together as a community. I suspect those collective nouns are also necessary for us to feel safe, to feel that there is some kind of personal control, in the enormity of infinity.

Perfect

“At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: “The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.”

In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

Each baby, then, is a unique collision – a cocktail, a remix – of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes – we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.”

Caitlin Moran

Ma

I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.

“We have a word for that in Japanese,” he said. “It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”

Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?

“I don’t think it’s like the pillow word.” He clapped his hands three or four times. “The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.

— Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki

Reality is false

My friend posted this on FaceBook.  Bolding and italics are entirely mine.

“Watching ‘Through the Wormhole’ while knitting. I like the show, and they have some neat conversations sometimes, but I hate when they use incorrect logic or miss the other options. This time was about how, since you can induce religious experience in human brains, it implies religious experiences are false. But since you can also induce visual, audio, and pretty much every other sensory experience, it should also imply /reality/ is false. (Note: they were not actually arguing solipsism, they just weren’t following through on their thought process). *shrugs*. Possibly, I’m expecting unrealistic levels of care from a discovery channel show…”

Think I’ll sit here and chuckle a while.