No time [Friday, Apr. 08, 2005, 10:39 am]
My clothes and hair smell like smoke. Ick. No, not tobacco smoke: maple syrup smoke. I was out photographing the boiling down of the sap, and gee, you don't have to be out there very long for the smell of the wood smoke to affix itself to you.
Maple sap collecting is so cool. Sure, we could just buy it at the store. But it's better this way. Yes, I really am a traditionalist. Not only in sap collecting but also in photography, gardening (hopefully we'll have a real garden this summer), pen & paper diaries, and of course I'm one of these moral "fundamentalist wackos" too, but that's another story.
We have so many time-saving devices in use today, it's almost surprising when you stop and think about how many you use every day. Not just the obvious things like cars and computers and copiers, but also digital cameras, microwaves, remote controls for everything, drive-through banking, creidt cards. I mean, it just goes on and on. But what has all this time been saved for? If all we really do is use our saved time to create more time-saving devices, what have you really gained from it all? Even after all these conveniences, we seem to have less time than ever before, and what we do have is usually spent on cheap entertainment of the day.
Sure, the traditional ways of doing things take longer, but the products are generally much higher-quality anyway. It's almost like biking. My mom used to make me go for bike rides for exercise, and I used to hate it, because the route I had to go was very lop-sided. When I started out it was almost all downhill - I barely even had to pedal, just coast. But then in order to get home I had to go all the way up the gradually steepening hill, and it was very difficult (these are things you would never notice riding in a car). Personally I can only pedal for a few seconds going uphill, before I have to get off and just walk the bike the rest of the way - which is very draining. I'd get home and just flop down on the coach for 10 minutes and not be able to move.
I suppose the point is that we would much rather do things the easy way and pay for it later if necessary, kinda like my bike rides, rather than doing it the way sledders do: when you do sledding, you have to trudge up the hill first, which is hard, but then the hard work is over because you get to coast down the hill on your sled.
Maybe my analogy isn't the best for most aspects of time-saving, but I still believe it represents the attitude of most Americans towards time, and even towards more serious things such as sexual purity (or lack thereof), alcohol, drugs, debt, loud concerts, etc: enjoy it now, pay for it later. In a sense we are supposed to be "now-minded." We aren't supposed to worry about the future. But that should never be an excuse to be stupid about the things we do today.
"On cable TV they have a weather channel - 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window."
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009