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Movement and Measure

July 31, 2009

What is time?
When you are working on a time travel story, this question can come up again and again. This being the second time travel story I have worked on, the question has been on my mind for the last 8 years.
I read many of the physics texts of Heisenberg, Einstein, Wilson, and a bit of Hawking. I read the magick text of A. Crowley, J. Arguelles, and Hunbatz Men. I read science fiction too. All of these helped formed my concepts, but it was the flowers who were my greatest teachers.
First and foremost, I am a naturalist. I study nature. I learn from nature.
For many years I have watched the progression of flowers bloom from the Willamette Valley floor to the high alpine meadows of Mt. Hood. From the Camas Lillies of April to the Mt. Daisy of August, each bloom comes into it’s own according to the limiting factors of season and elevation.
Each year the timing is slightly different. Flower time and calendar time are not one and the same.
The span is the same, though.
Consider a perennial plant: In the early spring the soil temperature warms up stirring the roots from their winter sleep; The tender shoots rise up out of the ground; The leaves unfurl kicking photosynthesis into high gear; The flowers bloom and are pollinated; The plant ripens into seed; The green parts harden to brown; All energy return to the root and the seeds are dispersed.
After studying this process year after year and comparing it to the processes in my own body, I came to realize that much of what we consider as time is really metabolism. Our body ages in stages, just as a plant grows in stages. Children grow, seniors shrink and civilization changes with each new development. These are the things of time. But these things are not time.
Time is the span of the movement. Sunrise to sunset. Month to month. Year to year. There are movements of the earth, the moon and the sun and there are the measurements of these movements: Seconds, hours, days, months, seasons, year, decades, eras, and on and on.
So…what is time? It is the duration of the bloom.
Can we time travel?
Certainly we can travel one way…into the future. Our memories can take us into the past.
But can we travel with our bodies into the past or into the far future? I would say yes. It is the how of it I still don’t know about.
In the story I am working on now, the time traveling kids have a magic map, magic chants, and a set of portals to work with.
I think in reality we would have to understand the “map” or the structure of the galaxy, which I believe is displayed by the shape of a daisy’s flower.
Then comes the chant and the portals: Are there openings between the curves of movement and measure? Are there a set of words, sounds, or tones that would resonate with the design and open these doors? I am not certain.
But this I do know: I will continue to investigate. We have all the time int he world to figure this one out.
–Davidsunflower

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