Sunday, March 14, 2010

time passes

The wall clock read 6:57 this morning, but the computer read 7:57. Here in the U.S., daylight savings time went into effect today, pushing the clocks forward by an hour.

We lost an hour.

Where did it go?

Was something really lost? If so, where did it get to? Did it go on vacation or move to Tahiti or something?

It's a silly question, perhaps, but I think that the assumption of what we call time is something to consider ... and 'losing' an hour is a good reminder of an underlying axiom in our lives. We don't even think about time until someone says, "Your watch is wrong."

But is time ever wrong or right? Is it the foundation block we sometimes give it credit for or is it just a convenience I offer to you or you offer to me? Intellectually, we can fob all this off, but time, even without the government legislating a loss or gain, does seem to pass: Once I was six, now I am not. What happened? What happened really, before birthdays and time pieces were invented?

Agile and facile minds will wave their hands brightly in the classroom: "Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know! Pick me! Pick me!... all things change!"

And of course, it's true. But there is a difference between knowing what is true and actualizing what is true.

Knowing what is true means that I am confused when the wall clock says 6:57 and the computer says 7:57.

Actualizing what is true means one, rueful smile.

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