Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sometimes an hour can feel like a day. I remember this from a time way-back-when when I clumsily stumbled through a transition from extremely busy to unemployed, while David plunged into work. He was busy, I was not. I had nothing to do. My worst moment was that time when he would say, ”What did you do today?”
Sometimes a year can seem like a day. Where does time go when your babies are small? Do I even finish one birthday cake before beginning the next? Somebody recently told me that life is like a roll of toilet paper. It goes faster at the end.
Time is a relative thing. Tomorrow is November 11, and I, as always, will remember my childhood, a time when I knew nothing about war, a time when all our school activities ground to a halt so that we could observe 2 minutes of silence at 11:00. ”It is only 2 minutes,”the teacher told a class of 6-year-olds. ”I am sure you can be quiet for that long.”
We couldn’t, not really quiet at the age of 6. But in later years my mind’s ear would hear her voice and compel me to silence. I’d be quiet for 2 minutes in a store, quiet for 2 minutes in my kitchen. I still didn’t relate to war on a personal level, don’t yet for that matter. But 2 minutes of silence seems a small sacrifice for me.
So here’s a problem. Tomorrow morning at 7:00 I am boarding a plane for Toronto. The flight will last three and a half hours, landing at 10:30 Edmonton time, 12:30 toronto time.
“When will it be 11:00?” I ask David. It’s 6:30 AM and he is brushing his teeth. Bad timing for such an important conversation. But I simply have to have an answer.
“some time,”he blurbles when I’ve asked it twice. “At some point we’ll be flying over 11:00.”
Sounds right for a minute. But is it? I mean, we spend 5 and a half hours in 3 and a half. If we spread it all out, does 2 minutes become 1 and a quarter just so we can get it all in? Oh I suppose there are practical solutions. We could set our watches for 9:00 when the plane takes off at 7:00 and declare 11:00 when our watches say 11:00. Where will we be? Somewhere over Thunder bay, Maybe and will it be 11:00 there? What if we’re still on central time at the point and it’s only 10:00?
So many problems, so little time to solve them. And still, 2 minutes is a small sacrifice to make.

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