Recently I experienced a sense that the calendar pages were flying off the wall faster than they ever had before. It was a new thing, different than other time-bendy, speedy experiences I’d had. And I’ve had plenty of those.
I’ve felt that well-known phenomenon of the years seeming to pass by faster the older I get (sung about beautifully by both Harry Chapin in Cats Cradle and Joni Mitchell in Both Sides Now). And at various times in my life when my to-do and activity lists have been overly full, I’ve definitely felt as though time were slipping through my fingers. Heck, Christmas morning used to tarry excruciatingly when I was a kid, but once I grew up and had my own kid, the big day fairly mowed me down like a freight train in its haste to beat me before I could finish my shopping. (All that self-imposed holiday insanity is for a whole ’nother post!) Birthdays, too, used to seem wide and far apart, and multi-double digit birthdays were like to never arrive! But once they did, each year’s milestone seems to have arrived faster and faster.
But this recent time warp was different somehow. It’s hard to pinpoint when it began exactly, but it may have been around the time that the local occupies began. My partner and I went to Occupy Raleigh’s second General Assembly down in Moore Park in early October, and we caught fire and got all excited that night about getting involved. On the way home, though, we realized that there was an Occupy less than a mile away from our house, and that one of the principles important to us is putting roots down in a local community. If we were going to invest time and energy and heart into an Occupy, we wanted to do so locally. So we went up to Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro the following Saturday, and have stayed somewhat connected in the six weeks since (albeit most often virtually through the online minutes and the online forum).
As I ponder more this strange squeeze in time I’d been feeling, I start to wonder if it goes back farther than Occupy (which was brought to you in a way by Adbusters, did you know?). For months after the Tunisia uprising began with Bouazizi’s setting himself on fire, the news was full of sparks from that fire landing on other parts of the world. There are unmistakable links between the so-called Arab Spring and the Occupy protestors, if only in logistical and communication lessons shared. The world is shrinking, a revolution is growing, and it would make sense for all that to be wreaking havoc on the flow of time.
Another possible culprit: the weather. Tornados, sandstorms, earthquakes, flooding, severe drought… Even the most stalwart atheist might start wondering about the accuracy of apocalypse predictions! Could it be that the planet is about to tilt its axis?
I’m not sure what any of this actually means, myself. What I can tell you is that at some point in there, Daylight Savings Time kicked in, the GOP soap opera started overtaking the news bandwidth, and time seemed to have slowly returned to normal. I guess I’m relieved?