Seeing…actually seeing…time

RoadtotomorrowThe last three days, during which I have had extremely limited access to the internet, have made my decision to forego Facebook an easier task.  I haven’t been able to peer and post without wi-fi or cell service. But I doubt I would have buckled to the temptation anyway. Though there have been more than enough distractions and annoyances to occupy my mind, I am glad at least one of them, Facebook, plays no part in the equation.

I’ve been on the road, exploring, since last Sunday.  During these past few days, I’ve seen some exceptional natural phenomena, things that require rethinking my preconceived notions of the realities I know quite well.  For example, looking to the mountains to the left side of the middle part of this photo (easier to see when enlarged; click to open larger image), I see layer upon layer upon layer of rock.  The closer I got to those layers, the more impressive they became.  Every single layer represents a very, very long period of time. Collectively, they represent more time than I can fathom; I don’t have the wherewithal to understand numbers that big.

But then, just when I concluded it’s just too big to understand, it hit me.  Time is an abstract thing created by humans to measure the context of experience, but looking at those layers allows me to see beyond the abstraction.  Yes, I can see time.  Those collective layers represent the time, in total, required to bring that mountain to today. I can see each layer.  The closer I get, the more precisely I can understand the stretch of time during which that layer was deposited and then covered up and then hardened.  Pull back from that close examination and there it is: a clear snapshot of time.

Whenever I get back home, I’ll gather my notes from this excursion to create my travelogue post.  Tonight, I’ll sit back and enjoy my brief access to wi-fi and cell service.  I’ll have a beer or two to help assuage the grumblings from the Mexican food I’ve just eaten at one of the few restaurants in this little town.  I may even turn on the television in this all-too-luxurious room and compare what I see on the screen to what I’ve seen before my eyes.  There will be no comparison, of course.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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4 Responses to Seeing…actually seeing…time

  1. druxha says:

    Nice song, Juan-Carlos!! Could ChaCha this one! ¡Ooolée! Lol!

  2. Carlos says:

    Maybe you’re on Facebook (FB) anyway! LOL! You can run but you cannot hide or escape the tractor beam of FB. Moving from peak to peak is like moving from post to post in FB, though you are on a grander style.

  3. robin andrea says:

    Humans have made time very small. Religion has made it even smaller. The enlarged photo is quite beautiful, John. The mountain tells a great story. Our planet tells a greater story. We are whirling through a galaxy in a universe larger than we can grasp.

  4. druxha says:

    Keep on looking into that horizon, John. Some how it brought to mind the famous quote from “Gone With The Wind”, were Scarlett hears the words of her father, that will later become her truth….“The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts”…..Gerald O’Hara, Gone With The Wind.” He was wise.

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