Posted by: COSI | May 8, 2009

What Decade or Century Is This?

As humans we have the consciousness of time and its progression—but sometimes even those small units of time can challenge our senses.

I started this week planning to visit Gettysburg with my father. As he’s approaching 80, frustrations and anger of youth seem pretty unimportant now and we’d both looked forward to a first-of-its-kind trip for the two of us—my dad preparing to walk me through the battle from those awful days in 1863.

Instead we ended up in the hospital with him getting an emergency bypass, marveling at the technology they have now a days. A simple monitor placed on a finger to get heart rate, oxygen content and such. A chest wound sealed on the surface with glue (I think they finally figured out that Super Glue is best on skin! ;-).

Then to quickly find a place to stay overnight I ended up in the old Alcazar Hotel—a throwback to the 1920’s—complete with rooms looking out onto a big courtyard with louvered doors that provided the breeze in the room. (It was effective this week, but I’d hate to count on that as my air conditioning in July!) Ancient Alcazar Hotelalcazar

To ease some of the tension of the week (I also dashed back to Pittsburgh in the middle of this to be with Dottie, her mom, and family as they buried Dot’s aunt), I took a little run early this morning. We’re back in my old neighborhood where I’ve spent little time since I left at 17. Ran by my old Roxboro Jr. High where I first stepped into a scary world of secondary education 44 years ago—felt for a moment like I was back in that time zone.

Then back to the hospital with dad –seeing the now frail looking man giving me a window into my world 20 years from now. But walking him around with telemetry hooked up so his vitals are continually being monitored without hook-up—while dad was walking me through what July 1, 1863 was like at the start of the Gettysburg battle. And laying out a mental picture of the geography of the area, its underlying geology, and how that played into the battle (I think dad’s who gave me the sense of the strength of interdisciplinary context).

I’m not sure what my time reference is moment to moment this week—I feel like a time warp traveler. So I think I can understand how some people have trouble comprehending the 4.5 billion year age of our earth and how humans occupy the slimmest of slivers at the current end of that timeline. And I’m not even going to try to think about Einstein’s revelations about time right now!

It’s been an odd and disorienting week.

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