Seth Apter of The Altered Page had a great idea, as usual. He thought we should re-post one of our favorites from the past, as everyone may not have read it, and he would then post, on his blog, the links to all this BURIED TREASURE. I thought this was brilliant, because I'm a slow-poke who often doesn't keep up with my blog reading. Which brings me to the topic at hand: TIME.
(I kind of cheated because mine's a two-parter.)
PART 1: A Matter of Time
Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali
Time has become somewhat of an issue with me lately. To put it bluntly, I've been very stressed out about it, or, more specifically, about a lack of it. When I'm doing anything, particularly artwork, I feel guilty about the 400 other things I should be doing. A lot of these things just don't get done. For example:
Cleaning the house - I mean really, doesn't it just get dirty again almost immediately? There's practically no reward in it whatsoever! Yet it must be done- again and again and again.
Cooking - The same thing only worse. It takes at least four times as long to cook something as it does to eat it. Then you have to clean it up!
Errands - Do I really need to go to the post office, get the car washed, or buy laundry detergent? I'm willing to bet no one ever died from not doing any of those things. Which reminds me-
Laundry - Ugh! Can't I just throw the dirty clothes away and buy new ones? No, wait, which takes less time, washing clothes or going shopping? Maybe I could just order them online, yeh, that might work... but it would be awfully expensive. I'd have to get a second job, but then I'd have even less time to do what I want. Aaaaaaaaaghh!!
Of course, the things listed above are only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I think you can see my problem. I just can't seem to find much time to make art. It can literally take me days to do a blog post! And the business side of it, well, forget it! I have to choose- I can do art, or do the business, but not both. Without the art, business is beside the point, and the art without trying to sell it is...well, not getting me any closer to doing it full time.
All of this results in me feeling pressured and nervous, always fretting about something I don't have time to do. Not very Zen, eh? So, since I can't get this time thing off my mind, I thought I'd use my blog to do a little exploration of time. I mean, what is it, actually? Why does time seem to zip by when we're doing something we enjoy, but crawl so slowly when we're, say, sitting through a boring class, or waiting in line?
Timothy Ferriss, Four-Hour-A-Week Entrepreneur, states: "Conceptually, time is the framework that allows us to put experience on a continuum. Practically, time is a non-renewable resource that determines the redeemable value of almost all renewable resources on a personal level. Income, for example, cannot be traded for experience without the requisite hours or minutes. Time is the master limiting factor."
Oh yeah, I hear that, Timothy!
Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel Duchamp
"Time is the fourth dimension. The passage of time is an illusion."We have this illusion of a changing, three-dimensional world, even though nothing changes in the four-dimensional union of space and time of Einstein's relativity theory."If life were a movie, physical reality would be the entire DVD: Future and past frames exist just as much as the present one." - Max Tegmark, Cosmologist. (MIT)
I like this idea better, but how do I make this work for me? If all moments exist at once, why can't I just move to another spot on the DVD? Maybe Carl Sagan can help me out:
Okay, I'm not so sure that was helpful, but I do love Carl Sagan! I think I'll have to continue my time exploration later, because, yes...I'm out of time.
PART 2: Time and Time Again
In my last post, I kind of ranted and raved about my arch-nemesis, TIME. I'm sure most artists, especially those who, like me, work a full time day job, can relate. At this time of year, it's easy to start freaking out about not having enough time to get things done. I've gotten lots of empathy, which I truly do appreciate, and even an idea or two. The most intriguing one was to "command time", requiring "just a tiny change in thought." (Thanks, Cat!) Apparently, Cat has been reading up on her General Theory of Relativity, a la Einstein, who happens to be one of my personal heroes. Here's how he sums it up:
"People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between the past, the present, and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." -Albert Einstein
Here are a few other thoughts on time that I thought I'd share with you. This one's pretty funny:
So, I thought I'd check out what philosophy has to say. Here's a bit about the Tibetan Buddhist perspective:
Kalachakra Mandala: The Wheel of Time
The word kalachakra means cycles of time, and the Kalachakra system presents three such cycles – external, internal and alternative. The external and internal cycles deal with time as we normally know it, while the alternative cycles are practices for gaining liberation from these two.
According to Buddhist thought, we humans discriminate between past, present and future, and we give them substance by attaching name and meaning to them. This everyday notion of time is not reality and is based on fundamental ignorance (or avidya). Unlike the Christian concept of time, time in Buddhism has no beginning and no end. In order to awaken to true reality, one must do as
Hesse's Siddhartha did - i.e. eliminate the concept of time by realizing that it has no substance. This is how [one] attain[s] wisdom and enlightenment. -The Conscious Universe
The question is, how do we make these ideas work for us? eHow has some suggestions on How to Transcend Time and Space:
* Meditation is one of the best-known ways to transcend time and space.
In the Moment by Laurel Julian
* Try attending a trance dance, ecstatic dance or another movement class where there is no talking allowed in the space. Allow the music and movements of your body to take you outside space and time.
* Make a commitment to spiritual growth. The more you practice living in the present moment and loving yourself, the more you will experience pure moments of superconsciousness.
Spirit in Flight, by Laurel Julian
* Busy yourself doing something you love. Crafting, reading, painting, singing: Do anything artistic that you enjoy. If you are truly focused and love what you are doing, time and space with dissolve. You can even transcend time and space while doing household chores!Turn your creative outlets into a ritual. Set intentions for what you want while you are creating.
Wait a minute, wasn't that what this whole TIME thing was about in the first place- not having the TIME to do what I love? Is that ironic, or what? I guess I've come full circle here; it has been pretty cathartic in the end. I guess it's TIME to stop whining and get back to making art!By the way, I'm pretty sure the part about household chores is a lie! ;)
Don't forget to check out all of the BURIED TREASURE!