Suns, Time, Travel

Sunset, 2010 February 7

In Los Angeles, I climb the hill on Occidental College campus. At the top I meet a stranger who tells me to take a photo of these birds because they’re a rare site. For his whole life he’s lived near the hill we stand on, so I believe him. Click for the full size, they (the birds) are tiny.

Sunrise, 2010 Feb 11

I wake up early from a dream. It’s a bit chilly, and I know I won’t fall back asleep. I decide to climb the hill again and see the sunrise. I’ve not been awake for sunrise since… late August I think. Maybe early September.

The moon is waning, nearly new. I recall the full moon very well, and I’m surprised at how half a moon cycle has nearly passed. It’s felt like so long since then, but it’s not even been two weeks.

My perception (or my perception of my perception) of time has been miscalibrated for a while now. Or rather, newly calibrated. A week passes and the state of mind I have feels like my whole life has been that state of mind. I can’t tell if I’ve achieved a better understanding of my emotions, or if I’m just terribly confused about the rate time passes.

One of things I always find appealing about travel is how it dilates time. Removing myself from my routine places and activities changes something in my brain’s understanding of time. Perhaps our perception of time is based upon how much work our brain is doing, and the brain has to do more work to process the unfamiliar. This theory goes against the character in Catch 22 who lays in a hospital bed unmoving and bored. His claim is that being bored feels like a lot of time is passing. He’s attempting to reach immortality through time dilation through boredom.

Having woken from a dream, I wonder: how do dreams fit into this understanding time and the (un)familiar?

Anyway, this is all just to say, I saw the moon nearly new.

Another pre-sunrise image. It’s interesting to compare the difference of the city after sunset and before sunrise. More lights after sunset. The horizon has a brighter orange glow. You get the sense that things are receding. Before sunrise the sounds are less and so are the sights.

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