Time and Space

Years ago, I was on the phone with Lyn at this time of year when I realized that she doesn't really grasp time and space very well.  She and Mom had ben out and about one evening when she spotted a Christmas tree on top of a building.  She was amazed.  How did they get it up there?  It was just so beautiful!  Did you see it?

Did I see it?  How do you explain that there was too many miles between us for me to see it when I was out and about?  I told her I was too far away and had not seen it.

Lyn directed me to "just go down Menaul and it is on the right."

Now, Menaul is a long street in Albuquerque and I was about 2,000 miles away.  Neither of those factors mattered to Lyn or to the directions she gave me.  To her, they were very clear and it was my failing at not having spotted the tree up on the building before our conversation.

There are times when you realize that explanations about distance, time or the curvature of the Earth become irrelevant to the conversation at hand.  Lyn would soundly reject all of those reasons as to why I didn't go looking for the tree.  So, I assured her that the next time I was on Menaul, I'd look for it.

This type of conversation has happened since.  There was the time when she was telling me about a car accident that happened on the street in front of their neighborhood.  In the excitement of her telling me about it, she asked "Did you hear the crash?  It was so loud!"  She heard it so, clearly, I should have as well.  I responded that I had not heard the crash but I was inside and had the windows closed.  She accepted that reason.  Had I even attempted the "too far" reason, it would have failed.

Lyn knows I live across the country from her.  She's travelled to my home annually for about 20 years now.  She had come by train, plane and car.  When I travel to their home, she keeps track of where I am in the route.  For example, she knows that I'm on my first plane and will call during my layover.  She knows that it takes a long time to each other.  Even so, when she wants to share something and it is new and immediate to her, then factors such as time and space are not important to what she's trying to tell me.

I love those conversations.


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