Saturday, July 12, 2008

If I could put time in a bottle~

I've always been intrigued by Albert Einstein's theories of relativity. Time is relative, he says, in many, many more words.

I won't be so bold, or foolish, as to interpret, but I'll explain what the theory means to me-- rightly or wrongly. Probably more of the latter

Time is not a fixed rate. It varies relative to speed and mass. In other words, the faster we go the slower time moves. If we could speed up to light's velocity as it cuts through the universe at 186,000 miles per second, time would stop. Would that be called eternity?

I don't get it, but I like thinking about it.

E = MC2

Energy is equal to the mass of an object times the speed of light squared. Eventually if mass were speeded up enough, it would cease to be matter. It would become energy. Think "beam me up, Scotty."

We are energy . . . just moving too slowly to manifest that way. We're mired in matter, time, and gravity.

Time goes more slowly in lower gravitation. Clocks that move tick slower than stationary clocks.

I don't get it, but wow!



I've never mastered time. I don't sense time moving, or rather I do, but then I lose track of it. It moves slowly, and then surprise, it passes on by.

My theory is time speeds up the closer it gets to an important date, a date you've been waiting for. When that day arrives, time is going too fast to stop. It races past, and damn! I missed it. I feel the breeze as time flies.

Twice this month, and we're only on the 12th; I've missed important birthdays of people I care for. Birthdays I saw coming for months, but missed on the very day I'd been waiting for.

The slowest time ever passed for me was the last months of my teaching career. The preceding 34 years were gone in a blink, and then the . . . last . . . year . . . crawled.

This disproves my theory, I see now, because I was waiting for the last day, and it took its sweet time coming. At least I didn't miss it.

So no excuses, no blaming time. This is the way I am, and if I hadn't been this way all my life, I'd be worried, but this is how I've always been.

The fault lies within me . . . or maybe Einstein left out some important part of his theory that I am just now discovering. I'll have to work out why time doesn't affect others the way it affects me.

A friend of mine kindly paints my time issue in a favorable light. "You live in the moment," she says. "You live in the now." And she adds, "I wish I could be like that."

Sigh. No, you really don't.

So, happy birthday, Marilee. Happy birthday, Carter. "Belated birthday" cards were made for the likes of me, and others, who for one reason or another experience time differently.

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."~Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


Pauline said...

My mother used to say that as you grow older time goes by faster and I'd think, no way! But now that I'm "older" I am beginning to experience the same phenomenon. Perhaps it is because children live in the "moment" where even anticipation is a current thing. Perhaps, as adults, we think more in terms of time - do I have time to do this? Where did the time go? What time is it? Will I be on time? - than we do as kids. I never did pay attention to time as a child.

I keep a stock belated birthday verse to write in the cards for folks whose birthdays I've had an entire year to prepare for. We've all got it memorized by now ;)

Carter said...

No doubt you'll remember that I forgot your birthday, too! So to say I forgive you would be superfluous. That you felt enough for me to give me a place in your time, any place at all, is more than enough. Thank you!

Wanda said...

I loved your comentary on "Time". I related to almost everything you said.

This week has been a crazy time, as I was running back and forth to my daughter caring for the grandchildren while she was sick.

I think when I have time....I'll come back a re-read your post several time.

It was really so very good.

RiverPoet said...

What an amazing post! It is timely, too, because today is my sister's birthday, and when we were on the phone last night, instead of wishing her a happy birthday, I was relating the details of my miserable day. (slaps forehead) At least I remembered last week and sent a card and I remembered last night and put it on my schedule to send an ecard and make a phone call, too.

Peace - D

Wanda said...

Hi Ruth ~~ just read it again... and it's an excellent post.

Have a great Day!!!

LOL:) Wanda

Janice Thomson said...

Time is indeed illusory and relative to each individual. When I am painting the hours fly right by and I am shocked at how much - yet during that same time someone else might be suffering a toothache and feel every passing second, never mind the hours.
You can't hold time in your hand and claim it as your own for it immediately becomes a past event with only a memory left behind. You can't grasp the future for the moment you do it too becomes the present. So really the present is all there is though often as not we are either still stuck in a past event or worrying about a future one. To me there's enough in the present to keep me going for a lifetime :)

An excellent and much enjoyed post my friend.

leslie said...

Reading this made me realise that I missed one of my best friend's birthday! Four of us went out to dinner to celebrate 2 birthdays, hers being one of them, but it was before the actual date. When they were exchanging cards (I'd already given one to the other lady) I said that I was going to give her a card on the day...DRAT! I'm now almost a MONTH LATE! Where did the time go?????

Rinkly Rimes said...

I have heard the theory that a year seems endless for a four year old because it's 1/4 of his life, but it seems tiny to an eighty year old because its 1/80. Maybe Einstein didn't take this into account.

I have a blog called Rinkly Rimes
in which I keep a journal in berse. Tomorrow I mention Time. You might like to read it.

Jo said...

I have always been fascinated by time. I think one day we will discover time travel. Well, that will be a long time from now. LOL

Someone once said that time is like a roll of toilet tissue. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.

I have had to start a new blog. Here is the link:


Bob Sanchez said...

Hey Ruth,
Nothing slows down time like anticipation, and nothing speeds it up like memory.

Mr. E. said time can speed up or slow down, but is it possible time doesn't even exist except in the human mind?

If you haven't read Einstein by Walter Isaacson, I encourage you to do so. It's a great book.

Belladonna said...

Have you ever read the book "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman? It's a really sweet little collection of short stories, each one with a different take on versions of time.

Tomorrow I have a job interview that could radically shift the way I will be spending my time and energies. The minutes are tick tick ticking by so slow as I wait for the appointed hour in agonized anticipation. But when I'm visiting with a beloved friend whose words I want to savor the time flies by on wings. Yeah, it's all relative.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ruth. I think your theory to time relativity is right on. :>)
We'll get together soon and make up for the time that has sped past us.


Ross Eldridge said...

Hi Ruth:

Let's not forget Vonnegut's Trafalmadorians, who exist in all time at once.

Somehow, I think that is possible, it will come, we will be aware ... but whether we have to pop our clogs to see it, or just fly over a rainbow in a spaceship ... not sure.

Watched "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the umpteenth time yesterday, it never seems dated or, indeed, old news. Saw it the first time with a girlfriend and my mother in a Soho (London) cinema some 40 years ago this month. Time ... My mother has been gone (or has she?) some 16 years, but I am very much in touch with the girlfriend still.

I'm no longer so puzzled by what happens to Dave Bowman at the end of "2001" ... clearly, he ends up in Trafalmadore!

The persistence of memory, you might say.

Does a retired school teacher get a summer holiday?


Ruth D~ said...

Such good comments, nice to know I'm not alone in my issues with the passage of time. Thank you all.