Monday, July 27, 2015


It is the last Sunday in July. I know this only from a phone call with my mother last night. It is Mountain Fair weekend in my home town, and the fair is held on the last full weekend in July.

Dates and alarms are anchors in my usual life. At home I am tethered by clocks -- next to my bed, on the microwave, on the computer, facing me each time I look at my phone. My schedule regulates me: rise, eat, listen, manage, shepherd, make, collapse. Again. There is little freedom in routine.

Confession: I need the boundaries of expectation. Without limits I waste time and use time and spend time, and when I am careless with hours and days my productivity "goes down" and in this day and age, this time, when value is measured and displayed in getting things done, I become worth less. Worthless.

I am unmoored here. We have clocks, but they are unreliable like the melted time pieces in Dali's paintings, mere constructs of an outside idea not germane to this place. We rise when we wake, sleep when we are tired. Lunch happens at 3 p.m., or 11 a.m. or is a bite of an apple taken in passing between events which expand or collapse based on who is interested in participating. We have Day and Night, but even those are fluid. In these northern climes dawn and dusk are elastic, stretching silver across the lake. I wake with birdsong. The dog barely raises his head in mockery of my wakefulness, so I roll over and go back to sleep. The clock means nothing.

I wonder at our fixation with time. We don't like to admit that it is a cultural construction. Travelling, I used to joke about being on local time, expecting people to be late for everything. I felt superior, with my promptness and exactitude. I hope I am wiser now.

Checking the calendar, we have three weeks more here. In a short while (what is short?) I will need to begin setting schedules again to ease us back into our normal lives. To anchor us again to the world outside.

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