Monday, March 10, 2014

Ritual Twice a Year

For the US, it's that time again: "spring forward" -- we all did it Saturday night supposedly in the wee hours.  For Europe, I've heard, it happens on March 30th.  Here I sit at the computer at 7:20 in the morning -- it would have been 6:30 last week.

I am reading a book about Greek mythology, reading it in little dips each evening because I've heard the stories before but now that I'm older some portion have faded and I welcome the insights of the author as to just what the ancient Greeks were bequeathing to Europe, philosophically speaking.  When humans came on the scene, well after the gods had appeared and the cosmos was in shape, the idea of hubris became important. Those who challenged the gods, (in fact the gods who challenged Zeus also) were in deep trouble. Their sin of hubris, of thinking they were gods or had some of godlike attributes  was a grievous one. 

Perhaps it's only a small sin, to challenge Apollo, who pulls the sun across the sky each day. He's grander than any puny human rule and will appear in timely fashion no matter what. But governments have had the hubris to tell their people -- all their people -- that twice a year they must readjust their clocks, their diurnal rhythms, their habits by an hour.  Must sleep, eat and, most importantly, work at the assigned time. 

What's the big deal? By now I should be accustomed to it and just go with the flow. Well, of course, I do. But always there's an echo in my auditory memory: my mother hated the time change. "One of the damned stupidest laws ever made," she grumbled. And so do I. No government can change the rising and setting of the sun; shouldn't we at least accept some inevitabilities and stop this nonsense?

6 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- Great post. I agree with you and your dear mother. I have always thought the law stupid.
Every time I turn around there is a new law being inflicted on us -- I feel likee I am being bound and tied for the sake of nothing that important. -- barbara

Lynn Guardino said...

Not to be completely sacrilegious, but this time change stuff makes as much sense as the not eating of meat on Fridays or during Lent. To those who fear the wrath of God, I say, over and over......"God had nothing to do with this one....it was purely financial. The law was made by, guess who...fisherman" Oy vey.

Lynn Guardino said...

Not to be completely sacrilegious, but this time change stuff makes as much sense as the not eating of meat on Fridays or during Lent. To those who fear the wrath of God, I say, over and over......"God had nothing to do with this one....it was purely financial. The law was made by, guess who...fisherman" Oy vey.

June Calender said...

Thanks Barbara and Lynn -- it feels good to know I'm not alone. But as they used to day, Hey, you can't fight City Hall. Of course we CAN complain.

Kass said...

I've never thought about the government imposing this on us. Maybe I don't question enough of their mandates.

June Calender said...

Yes, Kass, the government is omnipresent, really. Thanks for leaving a post.