time

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What time is it on the clock of the world?
 – Grace Lee Boggs

Alt calendars

We’ve got 12 months and 365 days in a year, 7 days in a week, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes make an hour, and 60 seconds to a minute. It’s the standard because, well, the whole point is to keep everyone on the same page (wouldn’t want people just picking what time it is). But there are other possibilities. Here are a few examples of modern/intellectual alternatives:

Happy new year to all who still observe linear time!
 – kimberly r. drew, Something I Saw, January 12, 2021

Examples where the calendar and time do not change, but they are show differently inclde Roman numerals, decimal time, and the HEXclock.1

Natural time

Ever since I started sending out my newsletter on the solstices and equinoxes, I’ve felt more connected to the seasons, and to the Earth. Life feels more cyclical - or perhaps, in combination with the domainant linear time our society now experiences, more like a spiral.

Another way to deepen the cyclical is finding time (no pun intended) to see sunrise and the sunset each day.

The sun sets orange light
Upon the rugged path, bright
Soon to rise again.
 – “It Sets,” by me

Many (all?) cultures used to experience the passage of time in concert with the changing of the seasons. But there weren’t always only four - even in the West - and some Eastern cultures recognized as many as 24, sometimes called “small seasons.” Farmer’s almanacs, like this contemporary one, also bring us back to our agricultural roots.

Two Seasons by Itee Pootoogook

Two Seasons by Itee Pootoogook