We are all in sync today. Daylight-saving time cost us an hour of shut-eye yesterday, leaving us sleepier than usual, one foggy family. Yawn with me now. Monday...
We are all in sync today.
Daylight-saving time cost us an hour of shut-eye yesterday, leaving us sleepier than usual, one foggy family. Yawn with me now.
Monday morning is when most people feel the effects of the time switch, because that’s when the majority of us go back to work or school, two activities governed by the clock.
The transition is one of the few times we think about how we measure and live by clock and calendar.
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Clocks have organized our lives since the Industrial Revolution made coordination essential. They yolk individuals together into a single productive organism.
And that organism now spans the globe.
There are villagers somewhere who don’t have to check the time several times a day.
They’re only concerned about time in big chunks, judged by the positions of the sun and changes in the seasons.
Instead of planting seasons, we learned to mark the years by TV seasons. If there are reruns, it must be summer. Even that’s passing away as on-demand programming grows.
Change is eternal, though some things don’t change much.
My son is studying medieval Europe. The other night he wondered why some people switched from using B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini) to B.C.E. (before common era) and C.E. (common era) when they all have the same reference point.
Both divide time into before and after the birth of Christ.
Some things are worth a fuss, but this isn’t one of them.
Several of our months and days are named for Roman or Norse gods. Who gives any of that a serious thought?
The Gregorian calendar arose in Europe, but nearly everyone uses it.
We recently celebrated Chinese New Year. It’s the year of the pig and we squealed with delight to welcome it in.
But the Chinese do business by the Gregorian calendar.
One thing bothers me about the calendar. The addition of January and February left us with four months whose names make no sense: September, October, November and December (seven, eight, nine, ten).
But we stick with it, because change would be too much trouble.
Systems for measuring time weave us together, but we also create unofficial time divisions.
Everyone needs bookmarks that place events in time. In my family, things that happened before our son was born and things that happened after are in different eras.
I know I’ve been attached to caffeine for exactly 15 years, because he turned 15 last week.
People create timelines punctuated by births, deaths, job changes, new cities.
Some are narrowly focused, some are shared more widely.
Seattleites of some duration place occurrences before and after the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
I suppose for some people there is a Boeing era and a Microsoft era.
I thought there might be pre- and post-Kingdome epochs, but now I can’t remember when the thing was imploded.
Maybe the viaduct decision will be a bookmark. Well, can’t be in sync on everything.
Jerry Large’s column appears
Monday and Thursday.
Reach him at 206-464-3346