Two Times in One


Sunrise at Makapu'u Lighthouse, Oahu

Sunrises elude me.  I tend to stay up very late!  Alarms clock?  Silly!  I’d wake up naturally, eventually…

I was enrolled in afternoon kindergarten.  This definitely reinforced my “whenever” tendency. My first experiences in the real world began at noon.  “I can handle this,” I’d think after watching “Bert & Ernie” leisurely before going to the school.  Wow, was I in for a surprise.

Surprise, “mechanical time!” By the clock.  Usually before my clock started.  In the years to follow, I’d drag my body off the bed and into the green-plaid school uniform (thank God for that: no clothing choices to add to morning prep time.)  Give me swimming for first period in high school and you’ve made an enemy.  College was a welcome relief – scheduling classes as I’d liked.  The “all-nighter” was my friend!  For the most part, I was back on “body time.”

I encountered body time and mechanical time described in “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman.

In this world, there are two times.  There is mechanical time and there is body time.  The first is as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum or iron that swings back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  The second squirms and wriggles like a bluefish in a bay.  The first is unyielding, predetermined.  The second makes up its mind as it goes along.

Couldn’t stay in school forever…out to real world and a workplace that opened at 8:00 am.  I know, I know, by 8am, many of you are already thinking “What am I going to have for lunch today?”  That said, once I operated in mechanical time, I was a stickler for the schedule!

For many, deviating from the clock is a luxury.  These days, going by the clock is proving to be a luxury for me.  Who’d have thought that, on vacation, I’d willingly rise before dawn.  A Hawaiian sunrise .

Lightman doesn’t think they can be mingled, “Where the two times meet, desperation.  Where the two times go their separate ways, contentment…Each time is true, but the truths are not the same.”  I too, tend to be an extremist – so have always favored operating in one time or the other.

Now I conclude: it’s about how to manipulate both times because the one truth is there that is only ONE time: how much you have left to explore this life, this beautiful planet.

Magic Island, Honolulu sunset

Magic Island, Honolulu sunset


1 Comment

Filed under Photos, Travel

One response to “Two Times in One

  1. A friend asked me via e-mail about “where the two times meet, desperation.” Originally that line had me stuck a moment as well.

    The best way I think of it is at the doctor’s office. Your appointment’s at 2pm, and you’re seen at 3:45. Desperation.

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