Sunday, March 04, 2018

Stretch & Flow

I've learned that the most excellent editor of the Observer Food Monthly, Allan Jenkins, has written a book entitled Morning. How to Make Time: A Manifesto (pre-order here). This is a subject I dwell on because my concept of time is incomplete at best, and certainly my relationship with it is complicated. It is our greatest commodity, and with it we measure the distance to death. Ten billion heartbeats. That's how many we have in a lifetime. But can we measure time by the heart? A cuckoo clock given to me by my son for Christmas does two things: reminds me of him and tells me how much time I've wasted. I am a procrastinator, a chronically late person, and someone who overestimates how many things I can get done in a day. I am a daydreamer, a daydream believer, a romantic, and I don't believe I will die. Ever. I am spontaneous, bad at planning in advance and live way too much in the moment. (I have recently shut off my Twitter and Facebook apps on my phone in order to create more time.) As you can imagine, I await Mr Jenkins's book like a teenager waiting for a date.

My beloved, who is practical like a Scot, or a German, loves to plan. He likes to pore over train timetables, have daily "diary sessions" where we compare notes, organizes holidays years in advance. I long to be like this. I am last minute. I deliberate until the day is upon me. I am entirely too big picture for my own good.

What is time? How can we stretch time? How do we hold on to something that is intrinsically ephemeral? ("I miss the days of photo albums" my mother says to me on the phone, and I agree with her. The great joy of captured magic in a book, not endless jpgs clumped together on the laptop, blending into each other, a muddle of moments.)  I think, as it appears Mr Jenkins might suggest, that rising earlier in the morning is something to try, as is not drinking ("drunks don't remember anything" I read yesterday, in relation to what, I don't remember.) Drop into a flow state, suggest psychologists. Do something you love and continue to do it so that you don't feel time passing. The yard where my mare lives has a large sign that says "The Time You Enjoy Wasting Isn't Wasted Time." And that is exactly how I feel with my horse; we enter another dimension, the mare and I, where nothing else matters, just our silent conversation. As it is with a lover.

“You are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I have experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching it in a state of awe and wonderment. And [the music] just flows out of itself.”
So the plan for the week is going to be: achieving the flow state.  There is a most excellent Ted Talk on the subject here by Dr Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Will you do it with me?


tedsmum said...

A positive glut of March posts! I'm smiling with pleasure and gobbling them up - thank you!

travels with an Unlikely Aunt said...

sign me up Scotty!

Anonymous said...

I'm in!