Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let's do the Time Warp again!

Time here in Indonesia has it's own life force, it's own rhythm and a special way of twisting about. It's a regular occurrence that is difficult to explain but most of us seem to agree it happens. Time seems to speed by and in the same moment, drag on.I think time has always had this special property but does seem to me to be extra flexible here.
I was astounded to realize recently that I've been here in Jakarta a year and a half now. I left Spain in August of 2009 and that feels like a hundred years ago. The time looking backwards feels like it's been stretched out.  Over the weekend I met a guy who went to my university but graduated six years before me.  My graduation was December 2002. My fellow Husky (University of Washington Huskies) asked what bars I used to frequent in the university district.  I sheepishly had to admit I didn't.  I graduated at twenty and since the legal drinking age in the US is twenty-one, I didn't go to bars.  I am at a loss when non-Americans ask me about the university experience.  Is it like the movies?  If spring break really that crazy?  Etc, etc.  I don't know.  I didn't have a typical college run at all.

The time between university and now seems fairly clear in my mind though enough has happened to fill a book (or two). That recent span has broken my life into segmented epochs.  There is life before and after dad's death.  That was really the first dividing line.  The first era was a time when he was still in my life in an active way (I think of him often now but it's not exactly an active relationship).  That era also includes the eons-long year he was sick. I will never look at February 26, 2004 as any day other than when he died and my life changed.  Everything since then, consciously or not, has had a tinge of it, of my missing father.  Like a single drop of dye in a bathtub of water, it makes things look different though the core may be the same.

The second epoch break is the line of before/with and after my ex. The former is in Seattle and Salt Lake City, the latter includes Seattle, Guatemala, Spain and now Indonesia.  I'm not bitter about it, and for that I'm grateful.  I've learned what I think I should have.  I've processed the event(s) and can talk about them now, though I usually don't. It was easy to say in the moment that I wished it wasn't happening, that it never had.  Life teaches lessons always by doing first, and contemplating after.  Lesson learned, class completed, moving on.

Pretty much everything before high school graduation gets lumped together.  I have a few very fond and well told memories from my childhood but I don't know that I have lots.  I am realizing how rubbish my memory is already.  I can't wait to get old! I wish now that I had blogged in Spain.  I'm sure there are some fantastic stories I've forgotten already. Recently the intervals in life have been easily and clearly demarcated by my physical location. So much so that when I need to remember what year it was, I think were I was and figure it out from there.

Remember it was only last week that I wrote about impatience.  Time looking back seems to stretch forever into the abyss.  A year ago feels like ages, four seems like an eternity. In firm juxtaposition is the fact that tomorrow is nearly here already.  A relative blink of the eye and it will pass into the vast history as well.  Its my bloody impatience that makes summer holiday a million, billion, gazillion hours from now (not the fifteen days it really is). 
Remember the Stretch Armstrong toys?  He was a soft "doll" superhero filled with goo that you could pull, bend and stretch out then he'd return to his original form when you stopped.  I have just dated myself with that reference as I'm guessing only American kids in the late 80's would know it.  He's a fair metaphor for my view of time these days.  When you "pull" on it by looking forward or back, it distorts and stretches. It looks like more or or less than it really is.  I know what time is as its a firmly set measure; sixty seconds in a minute, twenty four hours in a day, ten years in a decade. If you leave time alone, or stumble upon it on a closet shelf, it looks exactly as it should, ticking by the only way it can.  Tick. . . tick. . . tick. . . second by second.
I remember the one on the left, the slightly David Hasselhoff-esque one on the right is new to me.
 *Bonus point if you know the musical from which the title of today's post comes.  It it may very well be why we're friends, because you Do know!!  haha


  1. The title of the post is from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, if memory serves me well.

    I liked this post!

    One thing I learned here in Spain, was to be patient, and it had been a hard lesson to learn.