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  Wednesday, January 19, 2005

  Linear time

Finally, after a very nice company for my holidays I'm travelling alone. A bus takes me from Chicago to Indianapolis. I have a funny feeling – the bus feels as a physical representation of hyperlink, connecting not places, but people: I left Jack Vinson at the bus station in Chicago while Denham Grey will meet me in Indy (learning to speak local :)

This bus is also a link between holiday and work – I'm working on my presentation for tomorrow's meeting with the BROG group in Bloomington.

And, as usual at those moments, I'm thinking on differences between work and life. This time it influenced by the book I'm reading, A sideways look at time by Jay Griffiths. Jay talks about linear and circular time, male and female time, time of native societies and time of the "civilised" world.

I'm thinking of differences between holiday time and work time that are especially evident in the current phase of my trip.

The salted water of the Pacific is just two sunsets away. The vacation time is stretchy and connected to the world. Wake up time is when the lights come to play, before any alarm clock – strangely enough for the late sleeper like me. Food time is when the stomach asks for it. Snorkelling time is when turtles are feeding. Dolphins play in the cove when the sun starts to get hot and some time before the sunset. When the sun leaves skies it's time for lava to glow in the dark and time for manta rays to come checking if divers' lights attract enough plankton to stay. If not, it's time to go…

Somehow vacation time is reflected in everything around. Roads are narrow and winding. Next stop is unexpected: when there is something interesting on the road and as long as it feels right – until mosquitoes bites are unbearable or as long as the body feels comfortable in the water. The best sushi comes when sushi chef likes you and time to try sea urchin comes not earlier than you hand is covered with black itching spots after you managed to touch one. And diving places are never known in advance – it's up to the weather, waves, captain and dive masters…

And, of course, the time is over when you wake up with alarm clock, check departure times and your world gradually becomes straight and scheduled. It's time to answer emails, to catch the bus and to start working on the presentation. And as a sarcastic reminder streets become straight and you got squeezed between square skyscrapers…

Linear time is here, knocking with alarm clocks, deadlines and to do lists, but I hope I can sneak in bits of holiday time imprinted in tanned skin... 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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