Time.

It’s a strange concept, if concept it is.

APW_8625_tonemapped-EditIsaac Newton and other scientists have seen it as a fundamental element in explaining the Universe, with laws governing the way events occur in a strict chronological sequence.  It is measurable.  Constant.  Arthur Eddington coined the phrase “Time’s Arrow” to explain the fact that time flows in a single orderly direction, though Martin Amis corrupted this in his controversial novel of that name, recounting how a German doctor in the Holocaust experiences a reversal of chronology.  In this world the atrocities committed become an act of healing, the genocide becomes the birth of a new race.

Philosophically time has attracted the attention of Kant, Heidegger, Plato, Heraclitus and many other great minds.  Is it a construct of humanity?  Does it have a finite or an infinite history?

We never seem to have enough of the stuff.  As a trainer I’m well aware of the demand for Time Management training, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  The bad news of course is that no amount of training can create more, just allow us to make better use of what we already have.

Musicians can work wonders with time, creating incredible rhythms with or without an accompanying melody.

Why does time seem to speed up as we get older?  When we were young, the school summer holidays seemed to last for ever.  Now those six or seven weeks positively fly by.  Tempus fugit.

Then there are other things that distort our perception of time.  When we’re engrossed in some enjoyable experience we lose all track of it.  The event is over all too quickly.  For the lover nursing a broken heart, time may heal, but it seems interminable.

APW_8633-EditThese perceived different rates of time passing seem at odds with our knowledge that time proceeds at a constant rate.  Or so we believed until Einstein intervened with his Special Theory of Relativity.  Considering how events viewed from different points in space led him to postulate that when seen by stationary observers time may seem drawn out, whilst for those experiencing the event time passed “normally”.  (You will have surmised at this point that I am no physicist!).

Science fiction has been fascinated with time since HG Wells‘ The Time Machine, and we regularly accept the ability to “warp space time” whether by TARDIS or Enterprise.

So what prompted this reflection on the nature of time?  Nothing more than a clock.  A not so simple clock admittedly, but an astronomical clock installed in the reception area of a client’s business premises.  How could I ignore such engineering.

APW_8622-Edit

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The vortex shape in the second picture was actually shot in a training room in the same building with nothing more than the tools of my trade as a trainer.  Wonder if you can guess how?

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