Sparkling Isolation – Day 21

Time is relative.

How can it have possibly already been three weeks! Honestly, it feels like just yesterday that I had to pack things up in my office and head home for an undetermined time of “work from home.” Where did all the time go?

Scientists insist that time is a steady, quantifiable thing. A second is a second, a minute is a minute – all proceeding with clinical measured progress into the future. With the possible exception of the area of gravity around a black hole, that is most likely true.

Our perception of time, however, is an entirely different thing.

Take my post from yesterday. I ran across that poem from when I was 17 years old. As I cast my mind back to recall that time, it felt as though it was only a few days ago when I was that intense and focused man-child. Yet here I am, 38ish years later, wondering just where all that time went.

Even on a more micro level, I have had days this week where the minutes seemed like hours. I would leave my computer to do something and get embroiled in a task, then come back to discover that only minutes had passed when it has felt like hours. My sense of time has been wickedly skewed by all of the enforced isolation.

But then, that’s nothing new – this relativity of time perception. We all have felt moments where we look up and hours have passed and we think, “What happened?” Conversely, like my week this week, we have worked for what seems hours only to discover that it was merely minutes.

I don’t have any profound insights to share about this, but today seems to be a day where this time perception is playing around with my reality in a major way. On the positive side, I can say that I was working on this blog during the afternoon and noticed that the sun was out and the temperature was in the 70s. I grabbed a lawn chair, some sunglasses, and a water bottle and headed out into the yard. I set up my lawn chair just outside my front door and spent a good deal of time sitting in the bright sunlight while still keeping up with work email and working on this blog and a few other writing projects.

This was a moment when I was happy that time seemed to stand still. It was the first time I have been outside in the sun in a long, long time. What a luxury!

On this day when time and the perception of time has been so much on my mind, I suddenly recalled one of my favorite songs that touches on the subject. I leave you today with the lyrics to that song.

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it’s time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time

For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter
And then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time

For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Song by Sandy Denny – 1967

There are literally hundreds of covers of this song, and if you search YouTube you will see so many. Some of my favorites are by Sandy Denny and the Strawbs (the original version), Fairport Convention, Eva Cassidy, and Nanci Griffith. My other favorite is by the legendary Nina Simone. I will post a link below to a YouTube clip. It’s only audio, with a slideshow of Nina, but it’s a live recording. I love this one both for her honest – almost painfully honest – interpretation and for what she says before she starts to sing. Listen carefully to what she says – it ties in closely to what I have been writing about here about the mystery of time.

It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.