I’ve often heard that time is the great equalizer; a thread of sorts that weaves us through a cloth of commonality and universal opportunity. Recently, my conception of time, who benefits from it, who it serves, and where are mutuality in time truly begins.
During the first few weeks of our voyage, as we moved west through the Pacific Ocean, we began to push our clocks back an hour every other night so. In our daily Deans’ Announcement, the phenomenon was referenced to as “the gift of time.” Immediately I began to think, “Is time a gift?” If it is a gift, to whom is it owed and bestowed? Beyond that, Dean Sunny once asked, “What will you do with it?” The answer for me was easy: I slept through it.
To me, sleep and time are deeply connected. In part because I feel like I never have enough of both, and in part because I dream of what could be done with more of each. No one, at least in my experience, ever asks for less time or less sleep. Thus, the loss of time can be mentally and physically damning.
Then comes SAS and the International Date Line—the crossing of the latter has left me deeply considering what we lose when we lose time, but more importantly what we gain. January 16 was erased from my world. In the U.S., January 16, 2017 marked a day of remembrance and reverence for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King, an American hero, often emphasized the interdependency of humanity—an interdependency I find well expressed through our universal model of time.
One of the first songs I really learned how to play on piano was “Seasons of Love” from Rent the musical.
525,600 minutes. 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year?
It goes on, offering bases from which we can measure a year.
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnight and cups of coffee. In inches and miles and laughter and strife.
The song ends though, offering this:
Measure your life in love.
Crossing the date line, I lost the quasi-real manifestation of a day, but I gained a sense of urgency I may not have found had my year not been shortened to 364 days. So while I’ve lost 1,440 minutes this year, leaving me with but a
mere 524,160 minutes, a significant chunk of which will be spent at sea and traveling up and down the coasts of Asia and Africa, I intend on intentionally measuring my experiences, and in turn my time. I lost time, but I’ve gained a sensibility I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise.