Friday, January 21, 2011

Where I Am Right Now

 Photograph by Andrew Testa for The New York Times, January 21, 2011

Not there, alas.

I saw that picture this morning in The New York Times and it immediately pulled me in. I want to be there right now. I want to hold that scene in my heart right now.

Where I am instead is deep in Grantland. I've been there all month as I craft a federal grant due in early February. Most of my time and almost all of my brain cells have been turned over to this project and I am only now starting to see the faintest glimmer of light from a very distant end of the tunnel.

As I noted in my last post, my field expedition in Grantland doesn't leave a lot of energy or focus for anything else, including writing for this blog. I think back to Bess Streeter Aldrich's comments about how one can always find time for the things one really wants to do, including time to write, and I think "not when you are in Grantland."

Bess would accuse me of making excuses. My friend Katrina would probably say I am whining.


The above picture accompanied an article about the ongoing debate in Great Britain as to whether to eliminate daylight savings time and the Scottish opposition to doing so. The reporter called the issue of altering time one of "horological management."

I like that phrase. Horological management. It fills my mouth and rolls off my tongue. While horology is more properly the science of timekeeping (and, some would add, the art of crafting timepieces), I like to think of it in broader terms. From now on when I plan my day or week, I am engaging in personal horological management.

There is no horological management in Grantland, except for the drop dead date (and hour and minute) the grant is due. Otherwise, one hour blends into the next, one day blends into the next, one week blends into…well, you get the picture.

In the original Ghostbuster movie, which I have seen at least a million times because Ben loved it so as a little boy, there is a line that the Bill Murray character utters before they take up their weapons in the final battle. I think of it now while I lace up my boots and reach for my pith helmet, readying myself to plunge back into Grantland.

See ya on the other side.


Sharon said...

Oh April, I hope grantland ends soon. That picture is incredible...I love the angle in which it was taken!

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine. I would think the research and documentation that go into a grant could conceivably be endless...until the deadline arrives. That's why you have to schedule daily sanity time, no matter what form that takes.

Ellen said...

I love this phrase ~ I could use lots more "horological management" in my life too!

see you there! said...

Oh goodie, a new word! I'm going to see how many times I can use it in conversation this week. Things like that give me an inner chuckle.

Hope you make it to the other side soon.


Anonymous said...

i love new words! but i'm not sure i would be so good at horological management, chuckle. and i don't agree with Daylight Savings Time either.

Good luck in grantland. May the journey there not be too treacherous :-)

when you need a moment go back to that photo and imagine, ahhhhh.