Friday, October 30, 2009

Some Timely Notes

Mallarmé made a big point about the white (blanc) page, the blank, the virginal page. I don't have a white page, but I do have a white screen, a blank text box waiting for some input. Red October burns into a brown November. About a third of my sabbatical is over. That's the trouble with time. It keeps moving on.

I remember when I was very young how a day could seem to last forever. Now they seem to race by. I think the difference is how great a percentage a day is in your life. When you are very young each day represents a larger percentage of your total experience. As you grow older each day becomes a correspondingly smaller part of the whole. I am sure it could be expressed as a simple ratio: 1 day / total number of days. At six years old each day is 1/2191 or so of your total experience. At 54 each day is 1/19898 of the total. (The calculator in Windows 7 has some great new additions including a date calculator. This number is the difference between my birth date and today's date.)

As Andrew Marvell said

At my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near

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