David’s Blog

As the world turns…..

Time flies like an arrow…
Fruit flies like a banana…
Townes Van Zandt

Be here now…
Ram Das

Catching up here. I haven’t posted in a bit. The snows blew in and crawled slowly away. Daffodils, tulips and the ethereal shadbush have given way to phlox, lupines and bridal veil. Summer solstice is right around the corner. Tempus fugit.

We like to think of time as cyclical. The earth spins and circles the sun. Day fades to night and back to day. The seasons return. We even designed the analog clock as a circle, but this is an illusory metaphor. Yes, journeys around the sun help us to count, but cycles are stable phenomena of the physical universe. Time is an escape artist, fleeing by the millisecond. Digital clocks speak to truth.

We’ve gotten out of the habit of tracking time with the hourglass, but I argue that it offers a more apt metaphor. It gives us ‘time to come’ in the top, ‘time past’ in the bottom and ‘right now’ in the rush of sand through the cinched waist. If you had an hourglass of your life, you would have a visual representation of ratio. It’s not a mystery why days get shorter as you grow older.

We make sense of the sand in the top and the sand in the bottom with words, but all we really ‘see’ is the relentless rush of sand at the ‘waist’. This place is also where we meet the fellow humans we work with who are non or limitedly verbal. They do not have the words to use past and future to their advantage. This challenge frames one of our most important missions. We do correspondence training. We don’t just post schedules and mark them with checks. We craft equivalence between words and actions. This is hard moment-to-moment work… “What did we do?”… “What are we doing?”… “What’s next?”… This work constitutes the building of past and future one grain of sand at a time.

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