Saturday, November 5, 2011

In Praise of Standard Time

It's getting late. I'm fighting to stay up for just a little while longer, here at my kitchen table where a very small celebration is taking place: Enya's Watermark is on the stereo, a glass of red wine sits on the notebook to my right, a thin volume of Mary Oliver's poetry is on my left. Buddy, a bit of a party-pooper, sleeps at my feet. We're coming to the end of daylight saving time and that's reason enough to celebrate this first Saturday night in November. When I wake up tomorrow morning I won't have to wait two hours for the first faint light to cross the field, then climb above the treetops. It will arrive, as expected, then depart in the evening in perfect timing with the world. It will be daylight enough for me.

It is our nature not only to see
that the world is beautiful

but to stand in the dark, under the stars,
or at noon, in the rainfall of light,

wringing our hands,

half mad, saying over and over:

what does it mean, that the world is beautiful-- 
what does it mean?

~ Mary Oliver, from The Leaf and the Cloud

Painting: Vincent van Gogh's "Willows"


  1. Aha...I'm such a Mary Oliver this one too.

    I'm trying to decide what time the clock officially goes back--is it 2 Am ?? Because it hasn't changed on the computer yet...

    What a grand idea, celebrating the return to normal.

  2. Akannie, Yes, that section of poetry is from an extended poem comprising that one slim volume.

    2:00a.m. indeed. I'm off to bed. Hope your weekend is going well.

  3. Two delights. One, someone else likes standard time. Two, that van Gogh! Never seen it. I will now devote my next hour to my own volume of Mary Oliver.

  4. I have fifteen minutes left--LOL!
    I have never understood the point in moving time back and forth. My guess would be it must have something to do with commerce. ;)
    What a strange and lovely passage. Being as I am not all that well-read and know only a smattering about art, I am always learning and experiencing new things when I visit with you. That's why I always click with anticipation. ;)

  5. Hej! We went back one hour last week-end. What I especially don't like about this change of clock is that the animals use the light to do THEIR traffic out in nature, and when we put the clock forward in spring, then the animals are killed in numbers when they as usual cross the roads in the morning when OUR dangerous traffic starts one hour earlier. The farmers also say that the clock-change affects their cows. They have to be milked and the milk has to be brought out at a precise time.

    In order to remember how to change the clock we've got a saying. "put out the garden furniture in spring and put them back in autumn". I guess you've got a similar one.

    It's a very beautiful poem, Teresa and I love the van Gogh with those splendid colours.

    I'll wish you a happy week-end with party-pooper Buddy! He's so sweet and funny.
    Grethe ´)

  6. Love the Van Gough painting, Gary says we are going into the tunnel now, and I saw we will emerge in Spring.

  7. Teresa, lots of congratulations with the Sage Brush Award. You really deserve this. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Your posts are beautiful, enlightening, inspiring, humorous, filled with wonderful pictures and poems, a joy to the eye and to the soul - everything. Enjoy your award, Teresa!

    All the best
    Grethe ´)

  8. Hello Teresa:
    For us the clocks went back over a week ago now and so we are ahead of you in exchanging those dark mornings for lighter ones - at least for the present.

  9. MURR, Daylight savings time, wine, Mary Oliver and van Gogh - the world is chock full of delights, isn't it?

    RITA, Yeah, my guess is commerce, too. I doubt they're doing us any favors. Thanks for the nice words. Always fun to hear from you.

    JENNY, Yes, you must. You won't be disappointed.

    GRETHE! Somewhere along the line somebody thought it would be a good idea to add to daylight savings time, so extended it beyond the usual end in October to early November. Ugh.

    The poor animals, having to put up with screwy humans. We are an egocentric species, aren't we? Well, the powers that be are. :)

    We don't have nearly as interesting a saying, naturally. We just go with spring forward and fall back. Utilitarian, but not poetic. I like yours better.

    Thank, Grethe, and a happy rest of the weekend to you. Buddy sends warm affection.

  10. LINDA, I think I like what Gary describes as the "tunnel." I like that it's in synch more with the natural world. It's not that I don't appreciate the extra daylight hours, I do, but I'm not sure about the trade-off.... Hope you and Gary are having a great weekend!

    GRETHE, Thanks ever so much. Jack has been on this road with us awhile. We're in good company, aren't we? He is so generous with this award, and you with your kind thoughts about my blog. It's very much appreciated.

    JANE AND LANCE, I think it would be nice just to stick with the world at large and let life be life. One of our states doesn't go with DST, Arizona, I believe, if that's still the case. I'd like to see Minnesota rebel, too, but it's too tied up in the tourist trade for that. I hope all is well in Budapest.

  11. All the clocks turned over on their own last night. It was so seamless that I had to check the microwave (the only one not automatic) to make sure it happened as it should! I've got to change the one on my watch and the one in my car, and I'm all done.

    I love Mary Oliver, too. I have that collection of her poems. Maybe it's time to read them again. :-)

  12. Sounds like a wonderful celebration. I LOVE Mary Oliver! I've read everything of hers that I can find.
    We changed our clocks, too. But the old Regulator is now off on it's chiming. It chimes 2 rings ahead of time. Will have to work on that : )

  13. Murr, I meant to say: daylight savings time Ending!

  14. DJAN, Yes, the microwave was all that needed changing for me, too. That collection has so many nice lines, but, for me, those are the heart of the poem.

    LadyCat, The Regulator has mind of its own? :) Yes, the end of daylight savings time is reason to celebrate.

  15. The time is passing
    To and fro and back again,
    Where is old Dali ?

  16. Everything of ours had to be changed except the computer. We took advantage of the extra hour last night and watched four episodes of Season 2 of The Good Wife on our Netflix DVD.

    When I woke up this morning it was almost light out. I love that.

  17. PAUL, Yes, Dali did love his clocks, in all shapes and sizes.

    LINDA M,I loved waking when it was nearer to daylight, too. I love the night sky, when it's actually night, but this was getting ridiculous. Those poor school kids, going by on the bus well before the sun came up....

  18. I am with you on standard time! I really hate the fact the railroads put us on four time zones anyway and with the daylight savings time for corporations to start early to produce more products to sell to consumers....But, I rant. Sorry. Who among us still uses kerosene lanterns? That kept us up, but I guess so did whale oil lamps. Now it is illuminated light bulbs that foist us into the night. Whatever happened to going to bed when the sun went down, then getting up with the sun? But, I rant. I am with you, Teresa. I really don't like daylight savings time, the light bulb stuff aside. Give me, give us back our natural rhythms! On second thought, natural rhythms are still here, aren't they? That's a relief. I like the wine, Buddy and books about your room.

  19. Dear Teresa, your posting, once again accompanied by art and poem, feels like a solstice piece to me. That is, it helps me see that time is just the measure of change.

    I never realized about the animals being killed by the daylight savings time until I read the comment by "Thyra." Nor had I thought of commerce until "Rita" mentioned it.

    We leave such big footsteps on the planet. Big and often destructive.


  20. Time is frozen here in Stump Holler. Might have something to do with the still out back.

  21. Hmm, I changed my alarm clock, but until this moment I'd forgotten about my watch. (Peter does the rest of the house.) I think the change should have come at least a couple of weeks ago.

  22. JACK, So good to hear from you. I've been doing some thinking around the whole notion of going to bed when it's dark. I'm already up with the sun. Those natural rhythms seem right. As always, we are subjected to the reasoning brought about by commerce and consumerism. And I don't like it, either. Thanks, Jack.

    DEE. Yes, just the measure of change, the rest is just mad made constructs. They are good points Rita and Thyra (Grethe) made. We, as a country and a people, tend to get myopic and forget how our decisions affect the natural world. Thank you, Dee.

    CLETIS, Still's have a way of doing that. ;)

    BLOG, NANCY, Yes, at least. Those dark mornings aren't necessary and our outside work is done, so.... I don't imagine we can expect them to do it any different any time soon.

  23. Corrections:

    Dee: should read man-made.

    And for Cletis: should read stills. Too much moonshine for me, apparently.

  24. I never, never have understood all this clock switching. The day is as long as it is, and if anyone wants to see more daylight, just stay up later or get up earlier depending upon where you are.

    Seems kind of silly doesn't it. Yes, standard time, and let us stick with that.

  25. Bill, I wish we were in charge of these things. But, sadly, we are not. We'll just have to ignore the clock, whenever and wherever possible, live with the cycles of nature. As you know so well, there's a rhythm there that will tell us everything we need to know.

  26. Enjoy being back in Standard Time.

    I love the poem, especially the line:
    "or at noon, in the rainfall of light"

  27. Yes, Marilyn, that is a beautiful line. Thank you.

  28. Enya AND Mary Oliver?? This is too much to be borne. I am so lazy that I seldom think to alter my mood, which keeps me from knowing most of what I could.

  29. A little mood alteration is sometimes in order.

  30. Great poem...

    Can you see the world through the eyes of people you know?

    So much depends on where we are in our heads ... do you think some are incapable of seeing the beautiful?

    That kind of person makes me see the beautiful... y'know?

    I reeeeally like this poem... never read it... gonna copy it.

  31. Just starting to catch up after a few days, Teresa, and here you are with such a wonderful post. My inner clock is still an hour ahead and I'm fighting, today, to let it find its own rhythm after a busy week and weekend, but, I know I will enjoy the coming of a new day in a few hours. I like November, and, of course, I like Mary Oliver and this selection is so wonderful.

  32. Carolyn, I try. It's good to see the world as others see it whenever possible, but everyone sees it with a slightly different perspective and can we ever know Their perspective, or would it just be us projecting? :)

    I think some people are not brought up in conditions that encourage it, but anyone can allow themselves or train themselves to see the beautiful. I understand what you mean about how they can help us to see the beautiful. Their unawareness makes us more aware, perhaps.

    Penny, Thanks so much. I'm making an adjustment, but I sure liked having the sensation that the day was half over when it was only the morning that was. Welcome Home.

  33. I just love DST from this end when the mornings are longer and I'm sure the "change' makes the mornings even brighter, especially when there is frost on the ground and all the critters are singing joy to the world.

  34. Hey Rubye Jack, It's good to hear from you. I am enjoying the earlier sunrises and the longer mornings.