Pleasures of a German Spring – 2012

“ . . . everything was thrilling because nothing was the same . . . “

Tom Waits

There is a phenomenon common to us all known as psychological time. I mean that our perception of time passing is a function of what we are experiencing. That time passes more quickly when we are having fun and more slowly when we are bored or watching the clock is a truism. The longest fifteen minutes of my day occurs when I’m running on the treadmill at the gym.

Studies show that when we step out of our daily routines and do new and different things our hours and days seem to lengthen and that they pass more quickly when our routine activities resume.  At home, although I may be doing many things in the course of my day, they tend to be the same things, and the days, weeks, and even months seem to pass very rapidly, too rapidly for someone as conscious of finite time as I’ve become. I have the opposite reaction when I travel. At those times, days seem to pass much more slowly; a week on the road can seem a month long because I’m seeing different sights, hearing different speech, and thinking different thoughts.

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