Twenty Oh Six is history and off we go on another one. I've tried to think up analogies for the passage of time, but never really came up with anything super useful. I look for elements of steady movement, with huge inertia. A seemingly slow, tortoise like pace but one which actually accomplishes huge expanses of coverage if you don't pay attention for a little while.
It's a bit like rock-climbing, in that last element. You concentrate and work out your moves and then look down at some point, thinking you're just getting away from the ground, only to find that you're already well up the cliff.The Train
But one of the more apropos analogies was the idea of a low, long train of flat-cars that is meandering across a track-less desert. We can sit on the car, legs dangling and do nothing. That's not too bad sometimes. Othertimes, we walk alongside and pick up stuff, like rocks and wood and little things lying hither and yon and put them on our flatbed car. It moves very slowly, so you can stroll with the slowest pace, and keep up with it.
So, got that image in your head? So imagine, that you're sitting on your designated car, and you've got an assortment of interesting stones and twigs. You get off and sit on the desert sand for a while, and chat with friends, then wander over and an easily get back on to your car, and it toodles along a bit more. Occasionally you dawdle for a while, and when you get back to the train, you walk briskly, or maybe even jog a bit to get back to your familiar car.
Some might doze off in a pleasantly warm desert evening, and wake to find that their car, even though it moves ever so slowly, has disappeared into the distance. Jogging for a while, you still don't recognize your car, and so you get back on, squeezing between some strangers you don't know. They grumble a bit, but you're back on, a little dishevelled, and uncomfortable.
Maybe you get off occasionally and jog a bit along the train, still hoping to find your spot. How far could it really have gone? But each time you get back on when you're tired of the search, and your feet are aching. Some people are helpful - "Hey jump on fella. Take a rest, you'll find your spot soon." Others are dismissive and territorial. "You're in my spot. Move over there, this is my car. I've got stuff I want to put there!"
When you find your spot, you're releived and sit enjoying the familiar environs, your rocks and sticks. That old iguana skull. The girl from the next car over waves and says "How've you been?"Waterworld, Tower Builders and Road Trips
It's an analogy that has some merit. I think I'll explore it some more in another forum. Other analogies have elements I like. Walking on a planet of shallow water, perhaps. There are spots that are deeper than others, but the water is a bit muddy sometimes and you don't see the deep spots unless someone else has hit one, pointed one out, or you use sufficient caution.
Or perhaps building a tower of stone, with spiralling steps up the side. Occasionally a scarcity of stone sets you back. Occasionally you've got a structure that won't be stable much longer and you have to backtrack, and rebuild some elements. Sometimes, the stones are hard to find, or someone is pilfering stones from your structure.
A favourite literary/cinematic device is the road trip - driving a car a long distance. Stopping in roadside towns and truckstops, picking up hitch-hikers, navigating confusing routes, or dealing with ornery weather. It's got the break-downs, gas shortages and annoying driving partners. The need for rest, or trading off the driving. It's a good vehicle, to pun my way through this, but sometimes over used, or applied poorly.
Back to Real Life
The danger with analogies is that they can break down sometimes, or get applied too broadly. The train keeps going, regardless of our ability to stay on it, so on with my update.
Christmas (a secular holiday about trees and presents) is completed, as is the new years eve celebratory event. Tomorrow it's back to my P2 role, without having appreciably acheived anything on the grand list of ongoing projects. Lots of time for reflection, finished a few books, cooked and ate some good food, found some other interesting food elsewhere.
Oh, hey, those are in fact various projects on the list. P4, P5, P6, P8, P9 all got some good attention. Even a touch of P11 as I yesterday explored the "Faces of War" element of the Archives website
. It is a great array of pictures from the 40's. None of my relevant research people, but still interesting on its own.Wrap
Well, so goes it. I am thinking I'll do a bit of P10, P12 with the stuff I outlined above. Your assignment for this moment is to stop and think up another analogy for life that is particularly interesting to you. Send me a note if you come up with something good!