" As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."
- Henry David Thoreau, "Economy"
|Front Desk, Willard Hotel, 2012--Reya Mellicker, digital image|
Did you "spring ahead" last night, this morning, or somewhere in between? Does it strike you as odd that we try to manipulate time as we do?
Of course, what we're really trying to do is manipulate man hours, daylight productivity, energy usage, or other measurable resources, but it's disconcerting to many of us.
My circadian rhythm doesn't care for this trifling with time. Not one little bit.
Do you know that we have a "Master Clock" inside all of us? Scientists call it the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, and it's a group of nerve cells (about 20,000) located in the hypothalmus, the part of our brain just above the optic nerve.
It's not very large, but it's hugely important to us. Very much like the front desk of a hotel, it coordinates and regulates the activities of our day; release of hormones, regulation of temperature, and controlling our sleep/wake cycle, just to name a few.
These activities are our circadian rhythms, and we are not the only creatures who have them. Everything from humans to insects, and even to algae have circadian rhythms.
We humans are just the only species to mess with ours.
I wish we wouldn't.
I'm not the only one to feel disgruntled for a few days around this time travel event we call Daylight Saving Time. I have a brilliant niece who, as a child, would anxiously question her parents about this annual intermittent "loss" of an hour of our time.
"But where does it go?" she would worry. Indeed. How arbitrary of us, and how negligent of our finely tuned inner clocks.
Yes, we seem to adapt. We have a few restless nights, but our melatonin levels readjust and we learn to wake in the darkness if we have to. We may feel jet lagged for a day or two, but we have more light at the end of the day, after all. Is that a good thing?
I can't say where this lost hour has gone, but I sure do miss it. I'll be looking for it for the next day or two, without a a doubt.
My choice of music today it the powerfully beautiful Rachmaninov piece, "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini." Within this piece you will undoubtedly recognize the "theme song" from the movie, "Somewhere in Time," starring the devastatingly beautiful Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.
As I enjoy highlighting young people who are accomplished in the arts, I'm posting this version featuring the young Russian pianist, Anastasia Vorotnaya, who performed this piece in 2010 at the age of fourteen. She is a delight to watch.
This lush piece of music has a beautiful melody, to be sure, but to me, the genius of the work is the powerful undercurrent of the string section. Oh how I do love the string section!
Wherever you are in time today, take a few minutes to appreciate it. Enjoy.