Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Still gathering energy

Wow. Until this trip, I had not understood how I think of time. I don't wear a watch because if I'm outdoors, I can usually tell about what the time is by looking around, and if I'm indoors, most places have clocks of one sort or another, plus I am the death of watches. My parents tried hard to encourage me to wear a watch - they even bought me a Pooh watch, featuring not the Disney Pooh, but the classic version. It came with me to college and went missing within a month. I tried wearing a pretty "locket-style" watch, but hated having to fuss with it, and hated how it would get in my way. And my cell phone can sit for weeks without being charged.

So doing without a watch is my default. And when I passed through something like 6 time zones in 12 hours, it threw me off. Suddenly, not only was I without a watch, I also didn't *know* what time it was, and being much closer to the equator, my "celestial clock" wasn't helping me. When on vacation, what time it is doesn't matter so much, except that you do need to know when the food places open and close, and a clue when sunset is coming is a good idea, so for a week I drifted in a timeless state, not sure what hour or even day it was. Even now, I am having difficulty knowing what day things happened on. I know mostly what happened before what, but couldn't really tell you for sure which day anything happened on except the earthquake and a theatrical performance I attended. (Thanks to newspapers and ticket stubs.)

When I came back, however, I realized that my body had made certain adjustments and didn't want to un-make them. I literally went a few days without getting much sleep, because my body wanted to sleep while I was at work, and then wouldn't settle down when I got home and it was time to sleep. The first part of time I got back was a realization of the season. I'm now oddly grateful that this trip happened in fall because fall is such a varied season, beginning with the first drying out of the leaves, then the changing colors, then the leaf-fall, so that the passage of time is marked in a progressive fashion, and the tree colors helped me to reorient to the season. Then going to work made me remember the day. Finally, my body gave in and slept, and I'm once again oriented to the hours here.

Hawaii is lovely, but I am now convinced that jet-lag is meant to remind us to take our time, to travel more slowly, to appreciate the trip as well as the destination.


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