Saturday, February 12, 2011

Only Time Will Tell...

The Shadow of Time if time could really have a shadow!

Time. Such an abstract subject. You can't see it. You can't touch it. You can't smell it. You can't 'sense' it. Time won't even tell, in spite of the old adage, 'only time will tell...' It won't stand still. And yet, we center our lives around this abstract thing. I don't have the time. I need more time. Time will heal. It is timeless. Give me some time.

Aren't we silly?

The shadow you see above is being cast on the interior of an hourglass. I took the photograph on 12/31/10. New Year's Eve. It was the pattern of the shadow that caught my eye. Here's more of the image so that you have a sense of reference:

Same object. Different perspective.

I'll give you time to think about it.

(yeah, like I really can, huh?)     : )

I also wanted to continue my discussion from last week in regards to: observations. I would wager that many of us, if not all (and I include myself in this count) think of the process of observation merely as a visual one (unless you are a musician, perhaps not). To fully observe, we need to engage all of our senses and give each of them equal time. "Biologist Jared Diamond is an expert on tropical birds and relies on his aural sense in identification. One morning he took two colleagues with him out into a New Guinea rain forest. Within a short amount of time he was able to identify 57 birds species for them, yet they had not seen a single bird. The 18th century novelist Henry Fielding had a sightless half-brother named John who (as a magistrate in London) was said to be able to identify more than 3,000 criminals by their voices!" (from: Sparks of Genius by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein)

Other senses, such as taste and smell play important roles in the industry of aromatherapy, perfumes, wine tasters, brew masters and in the culinary world. Ancient physicians made a practice of tasting patient's pus and urine, which led to  the discovery that the urine of diabetics tastes sweeter than normal urine (that discovery was made thousands of years ago). (from: Sparks of Genius by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein)

To become a keener observer, you need to make more use of every kind of sensory information and develop the knack of appreciating the sublimity of the mundane (from: Sparks of Genius by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein). Think about that the next time you step outside to view a sunrise in the morning. That smell in the air is different from what you would sense later in the day as the sun makes its journey across our sky. Listen to the sounds that accompany that hour of the day. The air even feels different in the morning.

Celebrate the sublimity of the mundane!

Every week, a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Hey Harriet. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted! You can view all of my 2010 Shadow Shot Sunday images on my Flickr account. Click here to view them.


gigihawaii said...

What you said about Time is so true. Very clever of you to put it in perspective like that.

robertredus said...

Like Minds Paula....I wrote about time this morning as well....maybe it's the chronology...I don't know...I enjoyed your writing very insightful....
Tennessee Williams said….“There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”

sarayutouched said...

i am settling right into the depth of your last two posts. and loving them. loving the perspective(s). keep it coming!!

have an awesome weekend paula!!!

sarayutouched said...

...oh and...great shadow shot!!

Ralph said...

To observe means that watching the hourglass sand falling grain by grain, we won't observe the changing time. At least not in this manner.

Our senses grow over time it seems and we become more perceptive of the entire world that envelops us. With age, discretion becomes a finely honed sense in its own right...

Great shadows!

Sylvia K said...

I always love your shadow shots and I, too, am really enjoying your perspectives. I also like the quote one of your readers left by Tennessee Williams and what he had to say about departure! Very true! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy!


MyMaracas said...

Noticing and celebrating the sublime in the mundane ... excellent advice, and the main reason I love photography. And the concept of time has fascinated me from childhood.

How unnatural it is that we run our lives according to little ticking machines instead of by the sweep of the sun and moon in the sky.

Love the hour glass photos!

chubskulit said...

Awesome set of shadow shots.

My shadows, enjoy your weekend!

Alissa Nicolau said...

That second shot is great. Very creative.

Spadoman said...

Very cool photos. I certainly couldn't tell what that first one was. I looked and examined and thought it a funny crooked angle on the vinyl seat of a 1950's era chair, (the chrome leg showing is the houglass support). Thanks for the reference so I could identify.
As far as the observation ideas, I need them. I try to see, feel and hear everything, but it takes practice and discipline. The greater challenge is to add that discipline into my life. But on the odd occasion that I achieve the cutural phenomenon and actually become one with what I'm experiencing, the feeling is cosmic in nature and well worth the effort.
Thanks for the references on observation too.


EG Wow said...

Time is indeed elusive. I wonder who first thought we needed to be able to track time. It sure is a part of our everyday life now.

rebecca said...

loved the photographs...and then feel deeply for your writing. observation. this is a profound ability, when fully employed richly rewarding.

wanted to let you know i unveiled the names of those who will shrine!!!
thank you for so generously embracing this art of love.
come on over and see the spirited company we keep!

you are a compelling part of this ritual of giving.
thank you!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I had no idea what I was looking at until I saw the second photo. The sands of time are running out...


A seeker of shadows one day
Asked shadows to come out and play:
“O shadows, my dears,
Despite all my fears,
I hope you will not run away.”

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Shadowy Humility

sue said...

really enjoyed your thought provoking writing, so true, yet we get caught up in it so often. I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in an era before clocks.
Lovely shots.

Hey Harriet said...

"Celebrate the sublimity of the mundane" - I love it! And I loved your entire post. I agree with you about the time thing. Time doesn't exist. All that HAS happened or WILL happen is happening all at once. It's a continuous NOW :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful, Paula, the shadow of time!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Cassie said...

Oh man, give me time to cogitate on this observation thing again. I do have a VERY heightened sense of smell for some reason. That is odd, because I smoked for the middle 1/3 of my life!! Your ShadowShots are amazing! Really fine. Have a good week.

BLOGitse said...

Time, what an illusion. And we all are slaves of it - more or less...
Have a great week ahead!

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

I love it Paula...I never would have guessed an hourglass...and I was trying really hard to figure it out before scrolling down! More great thoughts on observance as well - I love it when it is quiet and peacefull out and I can sit and observe (beach, park, forest, etc...), but I guess I could do it in a crowd (city, baseball game, kids playground) would just take more patience maybe?!! You got me thinking!
HAve a fabulous, obervant weekend Paula!

(oh...of course I LOVED your fun with Time as well- hee hee!)


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