Time moves consistently, but mine doesn’t.
Subjective perception of time is altered by all sorts of stimuli. After a drink, it swims faster, blurrier. Right before lunch, it slows as I savor it more. “Time” is an objective measure about the world—a construct based on collective human experience. Each person’s time, however, is subjective. Experientially, there is such thing as a fast second or a long day.
At twelve years old, late at night in the hold of a sailboat, I wept at the realization that time only moves in one direction. Correct, precocious pre-pubescent philosopher young-Julian: correct, but incomplete.
I also recall, earlier, as a tyke of about seven, telling a friend, “we should have fun for the next hour so it passes faster.”
While I couldn’t yet articulate the difference between subjective and objective time, I already understood its implications: Subjective time is inconsistent. You can manipulate it, and thereby manipulate your experience.
So play with it. That’s as much as I’ve got. I’ve discovered a powerful tool and have little idea what to do with it, so let’s experiment and see what works. Try slowing subjective time by sensing the subsections of each second. Speed it up by losing yourself in thought. Objective time moves at a consistent rate in one direction. That’s our creative constraint. What we do within its bounds is up to us. If you discover something, tell me.
Traveling around the U.S., with no nine-to-five, I revert to a pre-1800s sense of time, which I find brings greater focus and emotional depth.
How long have I been writing this? Wrong question.
Is it valuable? Better question.
Is it what I should be doing? Right question.