Measuring Time


My granddaughter Ashlynne recently noted how time as we measure it is a human construct. Why a second, why do 60 seconds equal a minute, why do 24 hours equal a day? Those chosen measurements that rule length of time were what she was questioning, and I don’t think she was looking for scientific answers; although, I do not know for sure. She was off to the beach, off to spend time with friends before returning to college. Then a few days later after she was gone, she sent me photographs she had taken of Fort Ord, the closed army base that now is home to California State University Monterey Bay—and in doing so she had created a measurement of time. Her images of the barracks my father’s roofing company roofed in the 1960’s were a breadth of time, as I remember them uniformly painted, erect and at attention. Today the worn buildings wear bold graffiti prints; their windows are shattered; and light filters in through gaps in the walls—and they connect us in time, once measured by my father, who walked the roofs calculating needed roofing material and hours of labor; measured today by my granddaughter who finds art in the decay; and measured by me, whose memory is the timepiece connecting the present to the past. (Thank you Ashlynne for your wonderful photographs!)



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