Before civilization, humans lived to two basic rhythms, day and night, and the seasons. Civilization, especially technological civilization, has changed that dramatically. We aren’t tied to the sun anymore, nor to the soil. Our lives have taken on different rhythms.
For most of my life, I’ve lived to the rhythm of school, first as a student, then as a teacher. Most folks finished their schooling and moved into the relatively standard five day a week, 52 week a year rhythm. I never did. I became part of a sub-tribe within the population, the school tribe.
The other day, Lana and I were going to town and she told me to avoid taking a specific road because it was around 3:00 and the school kids would be getting out. I had to remind her that school was out for Christmas. She works at the library, and though they certainly don’t have the same workload every day of the year, their loads are much more regular than those the school tribe deals with.
For roughly the past three weeks, the school tribe’s rhythm has slowed way down. In some cases it probably came to a standstill. I did a very little school work over the Christmas break, but only because of the Human Subjects committee that I chair. Other than that, I got up when I wanted, went to bed when I wanted, and worked only on personal choices, like my writing.
Then came yesterday. For the school tribe, our rhythm often goes from zero to sixty in one day. Yesterday, we started our semester. Classes won’t be in session until next week, but we faculty started yesterday, and today is registration. As an analogy, it feels like I pulled out of my nice country driveway onto the interstate and had to be at 70 MPH when my wheels touched the pavement. Except for a few blips for such things as Mardi Gras and Easter, we’ll be at that speed most of the way through until May, when things will drop to zero again.
I like the school rhythm. I’m used to it. I’ve adjusted my writing around it. I suppose if I lived to a different rhythm I would have adjusted. But it’s not easy to imagine just how that would have played out.
Do you ever think of the rhythm you live to? Would another rhythm be better? Or worse?
Here's a video about Rhythm: From the Scorpions!
Rhythm of Love