Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Lost (in) time
I have always, even as a child, suspected that there may be something quirky about "time": that it may not be all that it seems to be - or not to be.
But before I discovered the internet, I had no idea that so many other people had occasional... »issues« with time/space. And it took me a relatively long time to google for »lost time« - just to see what would come up (apart from -->Proust, of course.)
Nor did I have any idea that so many people seem to associate this phenomenon (be it subjective perception or something else) with UFOs and/or with "spirit activity" (scroll down to "lost time").
But the odd occurrence I am about to describe has nothing to do with either "spirits" or UFOs, even if they do come and visit us and/or influence our perception of timespace. That much I (seem to) know.
What exactly it was, I don't know.
It happened one mid-afternoon in the summer of 1999 or 2000.
I was waiting, somewhat impatiently, for a re-run of a TV documentary that was scheduled to start about 25 minutes later.
I checked the hour, turned on the TV to see whether there was any change in programming - no, there wasn't (checked it against the printed programming in the TV guides, too) - and turned it off again to do some work at the PC.
As I sat down to work, I glanced at my PC clock and then at another clock in the living room. (Both were always on time.) I opened a document file... and closed it again, almost immediately (certainly before writing a single word) - I decided I was in no mood for work, after all.
So I got up, sat on the sofa and turned on the TV again - just in case... But of course the documentary I was waiting for was still some 20 minutes away, according to both the schedules and my clocks. And obviously there had been no sudden change in the programming; the channel where the documentary was coming up was still showing a different programme, exactly according to the schedule. I turned the TV off. (Yes, I have this mania of never leaving the TV on if I am not watching - sue me.)
So I got up again and went to the kitchen, to have a drink - but not before checking the hour on my monitor screen and on the other clock. (Needlessly - about a minute, at most, had passed - but automatically.)
I crossed the two or three metres that separate my sofa from the kitchen. I opened the fridge, took out a drink, closed the fridge door and went back to the sofa. Still bored, I switched the TV on again... and there was my documentary, WELL under way!
(How do I know that? Because I had seen the programme before, but had missed the first part of it - that's why I wanted to watch the re-run. What I saw when I turned on the TV was the part I was already familiar with.)
At first, I was incensed (at the TV station, for its highly irregular programming - or so I thought). I took the TV guide again, checked the schedule, checked the clocks... and discovered that, somehow - I have no idea how or when - more than 20 minutes had passed since I last checked the hour.
What happened there?
Or rather... HOW did it happen?
I have no idea.
I do know that it was NOT a »seizure«, as some people are quick to suggest.
I mean, who on Earth has seizures standing in their kitchen and not even notice it?
Besides, what kind of "seizure" exactly - and I emphasise: exactly, i.e. am asking for a scientifically rigorous definition - would that be, especially considering I had never experienced any before?
(But then, the most »scientific«-sounding explanations are usually the most ridiculous and in-credible ones. The often flippant tone that comes with them doesn't help either.)
I was under no influence of drugs (don't use them), alcohol (I rarely keep even a drop of booze in my home, and that wasn't one of those rare occasions), or any type of medications. As far as I can remember, I had slept normally the night before.
The weather, by the way, wasn't unusual in any way - not that I can remember. (I mention this because an electrically charged atmosphere seems to be much more conducive to time/space anomalies.)
Whatever it was that happened, I do know I am by no means the first, the last or the only person to have experienced this.
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of accounts of this kind.
To read more about such experiences, go here and here.
(And if you had one yourself, be sure to drop us a line.)
But if you'd rather forgo timespace speculation and invest your time in Marcel Proust's quest (always a wise investment, if you ask me), go here.
It is a totally delightful website; I could not recommend it warmly enough. The time you spend there, or indeed with Proust himself, may be lost - but never wasted.