I had a Big Discussion with LG this week about the nature of time. She was trying to get her brain around the way time stretches and contracts, oozes and gushes, veers from great speed to sluggy torpor. She thoroughly stretched my powers of debate and explanation but I finally managed to communicate what I thought about about relativity and perspective.
She couldn't initially grasp how our experience of the elasticity of time is possible, given the constancy of the clock ticking away regular minutes and hours, but she understood an analogy: though a car might be travelling at a constant speed (like the clock), it could seem to us to be going either faster or slower depending on whether we were standing still, or were travelling at speed ourselves.
It seemed like such an obvious and familiar point to me, but was a bit of a revelation to her and our discussion has left me reflecting on my teaching, and how I no doubt still make lots of wrong assumptions about my students' thinking and how much they do or don't understand what I am on about. And this very point - about how our experience is always a matter of interpretation, and how interpretation depends so much on our stance and context - is important to so much of my teaching.
And though we have only been teaching for a couple of weeks this academic year, it is LG's half term in a week's time. Its an uneven half-term this year - so not actually half-way to Christmas. But still. Blimey.
This certainly makes time seem very loopy.
Today we had a family party celebrating my sister's 25th Wedding anniversary.
Blimey o'reilly, even.
It was my brother's 25th in the summer and I spent some time searching through old photographs, to find some choice pictures for an album his children were putting together.
How were we ever so young? and how is it that I now feel just as young, but also so.... not old really (well... just sometimes) but - i suppose the feeling is that I've travelled a long long way? In terms of the way I see things now and what I've learned - some of it too late I fear; in terms of what I wish I could return and tell my younger self.
But then, would I - the younger me - be able to grasp it?
It will also be my 25th wedding anniversary next year. I can't at the moment begin to approach any kind of thinking or feeling about that.
Time, time time see whats become of me.
I saw this sundial on a pavement near home this week - and yes, it was telling the right time.
But I had to check against the time on my mobile phone, to know this.
I've stopped wearing a watch lately. I'm always glad not to have to wear a watch at weekends and when on holiday. And I also had to get a new (and outrageously expensive) strap for my watch, so was watchless anyway for a while. And it occurred to me that I only really have to wear it when I am in the classroom.
Making the most of the moments comes much easier to me when the loops and whorls are not measured against a watch.
Its a bit like exploring a place by wandering, without a map.
And I suppose a change of seasons is part of the context for my musings about time. It just seems so impossible that it is still not 6 months since mum died, it feels like half a lifetime. Except for those moments when it seems like half a breath away.
But look around, leaves are brown and the sky is a hazy shade of winter.