Chasing after the sun

I woke up at 1:50 am CDT today, several hours ahead of schedule. If this had been any other day, I would have been irritated and fumbling through the kitchen cabinet in search of a pill to help me go back to sleep.

But this is not any other day, and I immediately sensed both the advantage and the perfect metaphor. I am a mechanical watch with a hacking function, and an unseen force has lifted my crown and stopped my sweep-second hand in the 12 o’clock position. It turns my head clockwise, and my hour hand jumps forward and syncs with the place where we are going. If all goes well, we will touch down in the daylight of tomorrowland while the rest of you sleep tonight.

Time seems to flow in just one direction. When we fly, though, we move bidirectionally, sliding back and forth across longitudinal meridians and between past and future like H.G. Wells’ time machine. It is 5 o’clock today here, 12 o’clock tomorrow there. But our perception of time is sketched lines and construct, a mental model to make sense of motion and change. There is only one moment—now—and we all share it.

Now is the reason we are going. There are a million and one sound and logical reasons not to, and we have sifted through every one of them. We could get sick. We might use resources someone else needs more. War could spread, catching us behind enemy lines. There could be an emergency back home, and someone might need us immediately.

But there is not a single reason to believe, especially after what we have witnessed these last two years, that tomorrow, or next year, or the one after that will be safer or sounder than the moment we are in.

If “there is a time and a season for everything under the sun,” then there must be a time to chase after it.

Now, as best we can tell, is that time.

So, we go.