Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Night and Death

I have always been interested in how we humans process time. Although we think of time as a constant, it is not. Einstein believed that time slows with distance and speed. Philosophers tell us that there is no such thing as time because it is so subjective. Echart Tolle would say that now is the only reality we have; the past is just a story and the future is just a fairy tale. 
We can measure time with all kinds of clock devices. Computers can generate smaller and smaller units of time digitally; but even the smallest unit of time is only a measurement of what was. Mankind can not measure the occurance nor duration of now. Now does not exist long enough to register in any tangible way. It exists but it can't be measured. 
Humans have a more visceral way to measure time. We use mental references as milestones to navigate our past memories of time.
I remember my folks would divide their lives into chapters of events that happened before or after certain vivid memories.  Things were expressed in terms of, before or after the great depression; other things happened after the war.   Every parent has a memory marker with the birth of their kids. 
I still calculate past events by placing them in terms of what theme park I worked which summer.
Everyone has their own way of determining when something happened in time, and it is all unique and personal. Some how we store significant moments of now in our consciousness and fit the rest of our lives around these moments that can't be measured. 
This brings me to now, and I just missed it because it is already another now, or is it the same now in a different time. 
The reason I clutter my mind with the complexities of contemplating the consciousness of now is simple self-distraction from thinking about Night and Death. The phrase stuck in my head and I want to write about it but I am finding reasons to write around it. 
This is my first night off since my Dad passed away. I had a night or two free in Rochester over the last month and a half, but it was not a night off. That was just a night I was not working while I was still in Rochester.
Unless you are in your house with your own stuff as the sun sets... it isn't a night off. This is real excitement for me, to be here and watch the shadows start to consume the back yard. Although one of many such nights I have spent at this house, this time it is different. It is my first night off after one of those time setting moments.  All the rest of my nights from here on out will be without Dad's planetary presence. 
I am already loosing count of the number of shows I 've done since the night he died. It is more than I want to think about on a night off.  This evening feels too unique not to deal with. I avoid reality by casting this connection of night and death into a movie script. The story of an elegant classic night having nothing to do with death. Then an orchestra begins to play in the background as Fred Astaire sings.
"Night and Death, you are the one, only you beneath the moon or under the sun..." not strictly Cole Porter.
So, here we are, right back where we began, contemplating time and the complexities it brings. Still dealing with death, and a night off. Death and Night. Night and Death  I guess I hope that in death whatever consciousness we have continues on after we leave this protein shell of a body. We might understand the timeless of now more abstractly without these physical restraints. Perhaps conscious memories remain, but not as a measurement of time. They are just to be enjoyed in an eternal state of now. 
As you were,  As we are,
As it is,

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