Saturday, March 07, 2015
Daylight savings time and temporal contexts and stuff
Sometimes concepts all just pile on at once.
This morning I was putting together some lecture material for a class where I will be discussing contextual factors and why they are important to occupational therapists. Ironic.
Contextual factors are defined as interrelated conditions that are within and surrounding the person. We generally break them down into personal, cultural, virtual, and temporal categories.
The reason why it is ironic is because someone told me today that it is my Dad's anniversary. Not really. It is the anniversary of his death - five years ago now. I never consider that it is his anniversary. The five years since that event is an important example of temporal context, or maybe it is supposed to be. Temporal contexts refer to stages of life, times of day or year, duration and rhythms of activity, and even history. Basically, they provide a backdrop of time for the way that we consider things.
I don't always process time in quite the same way as other people, I notice. I have a picture on my desk of when I was 4 years old and my Dad is holding my hand as we are walking down the steps of my grandmother's house. It could have happened yesterday, by my reckoning. It is kind of a timeless photo to me and it represents something that I don't want to ascribe time to.
Same goes with the way that I perceive some of my friendships. I have been friends with a couple guys in my hometown since we were all kids. I don't see them often, or even have contact with them on any social media. But when I go down there, no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other, we just pick up as if we had all seen each other yesterday.
Today is also the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. It is a concept that I have abhorred my entire life. I can wrap my brain around some pretty heady concepts, but don't ask me to interpret what has been lost or gained around Daylight Savings Time. I just don't get it.
Thoreau said "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains." I read that when I was 15 years old, flying across the country for a visit to family in Washington State. Up until that time, I don't think I can recall a quote that made more sense to me. That is why I remember reading it for the first time so vividly. I can't even express how tickled I was to learn how transcendental concepts worked their way into the thinking of some OT founders. Seriously, in consideration of all things that can happen in a person's life, how likely is it that one of the first quotes that ever made sense to me also happens to form the basis of a philosophy of self-reliance and autonomy that people built a whole profession around? That's pretty amazing.
Anyway, I don't do time jumps. I don't know what Daylight Savings Time means. I don't forget history or say, 'The past is the past' because to me it just isn't - it is all a part of the eternity that we are floating in. And five years ago is the same as yesterday.
That's about all I have to say about temporal contexts.