Change of Scenery Across Time

Three windows. Each of the two smaller windows—one on the left and one on the right—are separated by mullions into eighteen panes, nine in the upper section and nine in the lower. Mullions split the wider, stationary window in the middle into twenty-four panes. A computer monitor, a treadmill, and a cat tree/viewing post partially block my view of the windows and the greenery outside; but those obstacles do not hide the knowledge of what’s there, beyond them. The view is the same from day to day, except for the greenery, which changes slowly—at the same pace as the seasons.

Even the most strikingly attractive vista becomes routine, losing its emotional power through repeated viewing. Beauty dulls into a grey smudge, its precise details blurring into a nondescript haze. It’s hard—sometimes impossible—to know whether it’s the sameness that leads to depression or vice versa. Whether one’s depression robs the environment of its natural appeal or whether monotony reduces contentment to grimy rubble.

The time for a change of scenery is before that transition is complete, regardless of which is the cause and which is the effect. Yet recognition that the progression is taking place may come only after reversal is impossible. Only after the response can no longer be restoration but, instead, recovery.


Time is malleable. I have believed that for as long as I can remember, but I have never been able to adequately explain my belief. The inability to explain exactly what my belief means and why it matters continues. Every so often, though, a brilliant(?) but fleeting thought crosses my mind; if only it lasted long enough, that though would enable me to explain in relatively simple terms how the measurement of time provides an answer. I seem to recall that my flashes of thought verify that distance influences the matter; but I am not sure. Time differs, too, depending on where it is measured. I read this morning that time on the moon is at odds with time on Earth: On the lunar surface, a single Earth day would be roughly 56 microseconds shorter than on our home planet. That does not explain much of anything, though. Gravity plays an important part in the measurement of weight…or is it that the very nature of weight (not just its measurement) is effected by gravity? Does time have weight? Is it possible that time weighs less on Earth than on the moon? Or that time in distant galaxies may much heavier or lighter than here in our own? Speaking of distance, how does one measure speed when miles per hour must be radically different on Earth from miles per hour on the planet formerly known as Pluto? Are miles different from place to place? Should we be talking about kilometers per annum? And how long, by the way, is a year in various spots around the universe? I do not need to know the answers to these questions, but I might be happier and better looking if I did.




About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Change of Scenery Across Time

  1. Meg says:

    I find it impossible to wrap my head around space-time, but I have thought about our perception of time’s passing. I say our perception of time is in relation to the number of new experiences we have. Same old same old, a week is gone. A week in Paris…..

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