Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Challenge - playing by the numbers...

This is my 480th post. Yeehah! And this will be my 43rd Friday Challenge. I swam 18 laps of the pool on Wednesday. I spent 399 bucks on gum surgery today. I took a total of five (5) pain killers since then. I watched episode 5 and 6 of the 6th season of Dr. Who (well the 6th season of the revitalised Dr. Who with the 11th doctor).
The point is...and I have one (1)...that numbers rule our lives. At the dentist today (whoops not a dentist - a periodontist) they had the biggest clock on the wall I've ever seen not on the Parliament Buildings. Honestly - it was three (3) feet across. Why? Because time's a ticking as the 16th century Venetian countess said to the doctor. 'Time's a ticking,' and we want to watch it tick, count the seconds, the minutes, and the millenniums.

We want to count our breath, listen to the beats of our heart, count how many times the teacher says 'ok' in the span of an hour long lesson (87, I remember, and that was when I was in grade seven, a long time ago). We want to add up how many kilometres we cover, how many calories we take in, how many minutes our kids are on the computer and I haven't even mentioned much about money.

Today, owing to some happiness book I'm reading - I held on to Ron for longer than 8 seconds in a hug to make sure we got the endorphins happening. God. We are count crazy. Why? Why do we count so? Why do we say 'this really counts' and 'I'm counting on you' ? Why, when Crusoe was on that island with Friday did he give a flying fig what date it was? What are we on about?
Dr. Who is a time lord so maybe that is why it is on my mind.
For those of you who have done the nanowrimo - did you become completely obsessed by how many words a day you were churning out? You know you did. I'm obsessed with how old people are when they write their first novels and how many pages their first book was and their last one.

The challenge for today is to contemplate a world where accumulating anything simply does not matter. A world where the journey was what you went out the door for - not the getting there. A world where you actually believe there is enough for you and those you love - enough time to waste in the sheer joy of the process. And in the thrilling letting go of our timepieces, our calendars, our measuring sticks, our speedometers (ok - maybe not those), our devices for capturing that most elusive of preys - time.

In that spirit - I want you to write something - anything, a blog post, a bit of your novel, a letter to your aunt, and write it until it is done without thinking for one (1) minute about how much time you are taking or not taking because you know what, faithful readers - we don't take time - it takes us. And it does it in its own sweet time.

15 comments:

Faith Pray said...

Very clever, Jan! Can I do it? - that's the big question. But it's what I love about your challenges - it wouldn't be one if it was easy, would it? I will try to erase time and steep in the process.

Jan Morrison said...

sure you can Faith! don't worry about erasing time, that is like chasing thoughts - just dive into your process and it will step back on its own accord.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Congrats on 480 posts; I'll hit 400 next week. I really like your idea of just writing and not thinking about the time, although I find when I'm writing I just write until whatever it is (a scene, a blog post, etc) is done. If it went well, I'll write another (although that's scenes - never blog posts.)

To answer the question you included in your comment on my blog yesterday (and thanks for taking the time to comment, by the way) I'm cheering for Aaron Sorkin. Through strange circumstances I was actually in touch with him as he wrote The Social Network and he was kind enough to send me a signed script of the West Wing pilot as a birthday present.

Hart Johnson said...

4-the number of outfits my high school math teacher wore. Poor woman. I was relentless in writing down what she wore. *sigh* I love this challenge. It's funny--I actually don't keep track of time probably as much as I should. It's why I forget appointments and get sucked into bloghopping instead of working...

Carol Kilgore said...

At times I'm extremely aware of everything measurable. At other times it doesn't matter at all. I think at times I have to be accountable and it's often hard to shake that accountability when I no longer need it.

Happy Weekend!

DazyDayWriter said...

The challenge for today is to contemplate a world where accumulating anything simply does not matter.

I loved that thought, Jan! Oh, when will this "world" appear in our world? Maybe in your next novel or maybe in our hearts -- maybe both.

Take care! --Daisy (P.S. I have a lovely storyteller in SRS from British Columbia; think you would really enjoy her thoughts.)

Talli Roland said...

I am so guilty of rushing things. Sometimes when I go out, I remind myself to walk slooooowly, to enjoy the (polluted) air and the atmosphere around me.

Thank you for the reminder and I hope your gums feel better soon!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

WOw... what a powerful post. I LOVE how you said, "we don't take time, it takes us." I see it in my kids. One moment my baby is learning her firs steps, the next, she is taller than me! Oh, where does the time go?

It's bittersweet to see them grow. I will never see her again as a baby--warm, cooing, cuddly soft; until the grandchildren. Life does have its little treasures along the grand passage of time.

Thanks for making me think.

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

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Donna B said...

Interesting and provocative post... I find I have less interest in time or schedules since retiring...I wear a watch for decoration, because it looks like a bracelet. My sister gave it to me, so it is also sentimental. I rarely look at it for the time...

Congrats on all your posts. I had no idea how many I had....I had to go to my dashboard to look. I have 494 on one and 200 on the other...

We are in the process of elminating "stuff" and the only numbers we focus on is decreasing our expenses per month.

I really enjoyed your post. Thank you!

ninidee said...

Very interesting post. I couldn't help but think about time and numbers while I was reading it, lol.


Maribeth:)

Evil Stepdaughter said...

I used one of your pictures on my own blog-sort-of-thing, and not being one to not give credit where credit is due, feel you should know about this.

Oh, yeah, and I read your blog.

Saaaarah

Evil Stepdaughter said...

PS - He's The Doctor, the name of the show is Doctor Who. Tiny error, but sshh, let me have my 'bigger-geek-than-you' fun.

Also it's read in present tense. If it were up to me, the past tense of read would be readed. Or rud.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Saraaaaaah,
Yep, thanks for the adjustments. You'd think I'd know that by now but in the first instance I was referencing the show so I was only wrong once. and I get the read thing totally.
I tried to FOLLOW you but your tumbler just tries to make me make a tumbler blog which as I have three or four already I have no interest in doing! I'll try and comment however...
yo wickett step-ma

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Loved this. A joy to read. and not a bad challenge either.