Back to the future

My next blog will be brought to you from… the future!

Delorean

Well, not exactly. I am currently in transit to the other side of planet earth, to Australia, to begin a new adventure and told my friends that the next time they see a news bulletin from me on one of my social media feeds, it would be from the future. Being between 11 hours ahead of GMT means that I can really begin to sample that famous FOX News cathphrase “before it’s history, it’s news”.

Our man-made measurement of time, or as I like to say ‘the passing of now’, has been turned on its head and used to divide us from each other. There is so much ‘time’ or earth time, or space-time (what it really is) but we have so little of it to do anything that we want and very little time for each other.

How often do you run out of earth-time/space-time to do the things you want to do? I know I do and I try to make the effort to be mindful, but it isn’t easy.

I have written about time a lot over the years, mainly because it fascinates me, particularly on my 27th birthday when I began to calculate how old I was by the hour and how I had spent each one. It was very sobering to see my life broken down into hours; rough estimates spent eating, sleeping, travelling, working etc. By the time I was 30 I looked at time differently again. But why do we call it space-time? I’ve generally always called it that and must put it down to my early experiences of sci-fi movies and TV shows but on closer reflection it makes perfect sense.

Consider for a moment what you do when you arrange to meet someone and what elements make up that meeting.

How did you do? You probably found that you went through a familiar process of selecting either a date or venue first (depending on which was most pressing/easy) followed by a time. Without these elements we would never meet anyone except by chance encounters.
We prefix the meet with a time and a space (place), one without the other would mean that we would forever miss each other. That is, say, to meet me at the Millennium Bridge might be suitable for us both, but without a time and date you would have to wait there until I showed up, assuming I hadn’t already been and left. The same goes for telling me you will meet me at 1100hrs. Without a place we would be lost in an endless loop of 11am’s, hoping to bump into each other – much like Matt Damon in the movie The Adjustment Bureau when he hopes to stumble across Emily Blunt’s character by riding the same bus, at the same time everyday.

I think I heard Terence McKenna talk about this first but it makes sense right?

When it comes to the subject of time it is full of paradoxes and open to interpretation. What will really bake your noodle is this; you can move through space at the speed of light but you can’t move through time at the same rate.

Remember, the only time you have to concern yourself with is now.

My first trip down under forced me to re-evaluate my perception and meaning of time, out there you could lay in the road in some places all day and not have to worry about being run over. I travelled to one town (if you can call it that) for 8 hours – my mate and I called it ‘the longest day’, and not see another vehicle or person (save for the odd road kill) the entire stretch. Life was set at a better pace, not the frantic rat race that we see everyday in the UK. Even the most idyllic areas of the UK are victim of this phenomenon I call manufactured time shortage.

It’s been a while since I spent a significant period of time in Oz, there’s possibility that the mood has changed and the constant whizzing around is a part of daily life in places outside of the major cities. We’ll see, but I like to think not.

I might be 11 hours ahead on the man-made measurement of time but will be right there with you where it counts, now.

Calm down doctor, fear comes later
Calm down doctor, fear comes later

Thin blue line

We are all standing on the shoulders of giants

Recently a tweet by a man named Derek Nichols, about his brother Jordan’s poem, gained much attention on the social media ether.

image

The poem is a clever play on words that can be read forwards and backwards and gained a great many plaudits from across the world. It has however started to pick up the usual scorn from some quarters as it appears the poem by young Jordan, 14, emulates another poem called Lost Generation. Does this really detract from the efforts of a young boy, or should we applaud the views and feelings he harbours about the way our world and way of life is headed?

We live in a time where nearly every movie or song is a copy, remake, or re-imagining of a classic (sometimes not so classic) and yet we pour adulation on these great feats of ‘art’, sometimes bestowing the highest of honours and awards on them in the process, yet when a young boy sees inspiration and does the same thing with a poem, a poem that holds a far greater and important message than say ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ for example, we are intent on killing him for it. Virtually nothing in the world of art is original today because we have killed creativity in our schools and we are a poorer society for it.

There is much darkness in this world and our news (when it is not covering celebrity trials) and we should take stock of moments like this to encourage our children to make more art, seizing inspiration from things such as the Lost Generation poem and perhaps reignite the artist within ourselves too, for it is the only way to shed some light on the darkness. When we do so we should remember one thing; we are all standing on the shoulders of giants.