Wednesday, August 18, 2004

time travel
In the dark of last night I woke to a dramatic and confusing moment. My eyes were open and I was staring around my bedroom, looking at the edge of the open door and the dim city light defining the shape of the window. But for about 10 seconds I could not for the life of me figure out where I was.

My head was first stuck in England, trying to make sense of the scene and match it to places. But of course there was no match, and my mind wrestled with itself in agitation at not-knowing.

The sense of being misplaced, being in the wrong place, was intense and profound, reaching deep down into my sleepy dream emotions.

Finally my mind arrived at the knowledge that I was in my room in Toulouse, and the sensation passed. I lay back down onto my futon, and dropped again into sleep.

This morning I was emailing my very good friend Nick who I have just been on holiday with, and I mentioned this episode of night-time weirdness. He responded, and told me that exactly the same thing had happened to him last night.

We must have been in 7 different beds over the two weeks we were on holiday. Clearly there is some effect on the mind of moving around so much in too short a space of time.

Strangely, while on holiday we both agreed that the time we felt we had been in Sri-Lanka seemed much much longer than it would seem if we had passed the days back at our homes. Although a time-scale is hard to quantify, it felt like atleast a month had gone by when it was only about 11 days by the clock.

It is as if by being physically in so many different places, we caused the mental and emotional sensation of much more time having passed.

What was it Einstein was saying about space and time being two aspects of the same thing?

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