Fighter pilot, Royal Navy 1945, Hydrographer Iraq 1947-52 India 1952-53, Canadian Hydrographic Arctic explorer 1953-1960, Writer-producer Canadian National Film Board 1961-72, Freelance journalist, audio-visual producer 1972-2009, National Press Club of Canada 1961 - 2006

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Puzzling Elasticity of Time

A Brief Personal View

One aspect of being more than eighty years old, apart from the constant whizzbang passing of the weeks is, not too surprisingly, the sharper view one gets of the accelerating passage of elapsed time.

Qualifying statements, made by, or attributed by others to younger people and meant to impress by lauding their twelve years of experience in certain fields of endeavour just simply fail to do so. To octogenarians twelve years is peanuts. Even two dozen years can sometimes seem nothing more than a very small hill of coconuts.

But past personal experience does provide a rough measuring stick in viewing the past and the probable future.

One old person I remember well from about 1940, during the first Nazi air raids of the blitz on London, was Grandma Ray, who lived with her elderly daughter and retired son-in-law two houses away. I think at that time she was about ninety-years-old, but of very sound mind. She told me that as a young girl she had known old men who had fought at the Battle of Waterloo. So I have spoken with people who have spoken with people who fought with the Duke of Wellington against Napoleon!

This gives one a personal scale to measure the fascinating passage of history.

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