Today I stopped in at a local pet store to get something for my cat.  I was in line to checkout behind this dog and its payment person.  The cart was full of dog food and one treat.  As the payment person did her thing, the dog was just plain all-over happy.  Tail wagging so hard it almost knocked it down.  Jumping up to make sure the dog food was really in the cart.  Whirling around to make sure no other pooch was going to try to steal the food.  More happy tail and bouncing.

Good thing I hadn’t brought the cat.  She would have been oh so disdainful of all this happy (and perhaps secretly a bit jealous, because it really looked like fun).

Just another moment at the dog-mart.  You can’t help loving it.

Time, Re-bottled

Thinking again about time.  And memories.  I know the two are linked (see Time, in a Bottle), and it seems time to revisit that link.  Start with the idea that there is no Time.  None.  Then, who am I?  Where am I?  Am I in a when?  If so, how are whens formed?  My theory:  whens are time.  And they are created by my remembering something that happened to me.  Remember enough whens, and you have my time.

Time, then, is personal.  Each of us remembers something, creating a when and putting it in a bottle.  Stack those bottles and you have your time.  My time is not your time, not at all.  But, there may be memories of shared whens, and it might feel like we share time too.  But all we share is one bottle, one memory, when our personal times came together.  Even though there may be more than that one bottle, more whens in which we shared a moment and created a memory, still, my time is mine and yours is yours.

There may be whens  we would like to share with another person.  To create such a plan requires some common construct of “time”, so we can say, “meet me at the corner tomorrow at ten”.  We have to have a shared idea of what “ten” is for that to work.  So, we humans have constructed an elaborate structure that we have agreed to use so that we can create shared memories.  These can then be bottled and so become personal time.

This theory may explain why time seems to slow down and speed up.  The more bottles of memory I save, the slower my time.  We can choose what we want to remember, and that choice can be made at any point in my personal time–immediately and forever, or forgotten until remembered in some future when.

The important thing is that my whens are mine.  Time is personal.  But I can choose to sometimes place my time within that superstructure that allows us to share a when and hence a memory.

And no, I have not been drinking.


My Bob said once, when I told him I would not be going to camp at the Oregon Coast that year, “if you don’t go, you will not be livable”.  That year, I went.  The next year after that, I did not, because he was deeper into his illness, and dying and that year, Bob did not object.  This year, I did not go because my cat suddenly appeared to be dying.  This is the second year I have missed since I began vacationing on my own on the Oregon Coast some thirty or forty years ago.

The cat has not died; she simply did not want me to go.  I am somewhat livable, but you might want to ask my sister about that.  But I am very happy that the cat still purrs, and I know the ocean will be there next year.  Somehow.