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👀 Messy Time
#306 | For when things don't line up neatly
I am moving away to study (again) in 2 weeks. A new course, new people and a new city. Sounds like a fresh start, right?
But for anyone who’s dipped their feet into adulthood, the decision to move is anything but. Unlike the shift from vacation to school or school to college, moving when you’re an adult comes with a frustrating side plate of something called ‘overlap’. There is no clean break. The people in your life, the projects that never ended, and the tasks you never got around to will surely and inevitably be dragged along.
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The movement of life is a little bit like layered music, except the layers don’t align neatly to make sweet tunes. Instead, the past and the present overlap to create freakish distortions. Very much like this technique of phasing created by composer Richard Reich. (Trigger warning: Repetitive sound, disturbing)
Forget our lives. Time, it seems, is never found in neat and precise blocks. Temporal overlap is the universal constant. Take our planet, for instance. Mountain peaks experience ‘more’ time than the oceans. In other words, time stretches and shrinks in ways that our minds can’t quite handle yet.
So, we do as we always do when faced with complexity: we simplify. But as with all simplification, the results are useful, ridiculous, and sometimes sinister. Find out how in this episode of 99% Invisible titled “Matters of Time”.
All this thinking about the inevitability of overlaps has given me some semblance of comfort about moving; until the stroke of the next hour.
Let me know how you’re feeling about time these days in the comments below.
I oscillate between hours of content hunting and complete abstinence. Content keeps me alive but also tires me out. I enjoy talking to people about cities, how they work and how they could be working. But I also find it frustrating to live in one. When I am not complaining or persuading, I like to lie around and look up flight prices to Goa with my partner.