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Time Outside of Time
Many years ago I had an “a year and a day” appointment book, which had an explanation at the beginning about the meaning of “a year and a day”.
Now I’m telling you this from memory, so it may not be accurate, but if I remember correctly, at some early point in history when calendars were still being developed, the “year” was 364 days and “a day” was an day outside of the year. So the old year would end, “a day” would pass, and then the new year would begin. There was a day-long festival on “a day” and that was that.
Even though I couldn’t find this on the internet (please leave a comment with link if you do) I’m pretty sure I’m right because it made a big impression on me. You see, that “a day” was outside of the numbered days of the year, and so in my mind it was “outside of time.”
This came to mind last week when we evacuated because of the fire. I noticed that I don’t experience time particularly as clock time or even day-of-the-week time. I experience time as a series of sunrises and sunsets and a flow of activity. I know approximately what time of day it is by the light and the position of the sun, but I often don’t know the day of the week and have to check the calendar.
And so, being away from my home and office and not doing my ordinary flow of work, I experienced that evacuation time as “time outside of time.” I literally was in some other time and place when we went to San Francisco. And so we decided to just consider this evacuation time to be a vacation. [When we returned home we found others had done the same thing. One young girl even called it an “evacu-cation”.]
Once the evacuation ceased to be an evacuation and became a vacation, we decided to actually have a San Francisco vacation. We wandered around little shopping neighborhoods, we walked on the Marina Green and saw the Golden Gate Bridge, we went to my favorite art supply store that always makes me feel like an artist. We went to the Exploratorium and a chocolate factory and tried new restaurants. We went on a boat ride around Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. We just had fun.
In the posts to come over the next few days, I’m going to tell you about some of our adventures and how they related to our lifely philosophy.