Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

Have you ever experienced a gap or acceleration of time that you can’t explain? I have, repeatedly. For lack of a better term, I call them time warp bubbles. I seem to be able to do an incredible amount of work in a very short span of time. It usually happens while I’m doing the most mundane of chores and I can’t find any rhyme or reason for when it occurs or why.

The first time it happened I was cleaning the kitchen. I happened to look at the clock on the stove when I started and again when I finished. To my amazement, less than five minutes had passed. Considering that I had scrubbed all the surfaces, including the cabinet facings and mopping the floor, I assumed that I had simply remembered my start time incorrectly. But, a few weeks later, it happened again, and then again a few days after that. I was beginning to think age was affecting my memory.

These random occurrences went on for months until one day I finally had outside confirmation. In my day job, I repair machines as an electronics engineer in field service. I was performing routine maintenance on a machine for a client I had been servicing for six years. It takes a certain amount of time to tear down the machine, do the maintenance, and then put it back together. Instead of the usual 45 minutes, it only took me 15 minutes to do the work. I didn’t pay any attention to the time I finished, and when I announced to the client the task was complete, they looked at their watch and noted the lapse of time in astonishment. I became very excited and asked them if they were sure about the time. I knew that I finally had outside confirmation that a time warp bubble had occurred. I showed the client that all the work had been performed properly and didn’t offer any explanation as to how it was done so quickly.

I still don’t have an explanation for these time warp occurrences or why they manifest when they do. Time seems to run normally for me while they are happening. Normally I don’t keep a close eye on the clock all during the day, so they may be happening even more than I realize. I do know that the number one question I get asked on a regular basis is when I find time to sleep, given that I have a day job and also work in three other fields of endeavor that have received national recognition, meaning that they all require a lot of effort and expenditure of time. All I can say is that I feel like I actually have a lot of free time to do relaxing and fun things, like spend time with friends and groups, or watch sunset from my deck every day.

One of my favorite books is Future Memory, written by Dr. P.M.H. Atwater, a recognized authority on near-death studies, and someone I admire and respect for her intelligence, common-sense, and investigative discipline. The book offers far more than a chronicle of time warp episodes, but it is well worth the read just to get a perspective on them. She details her own and other’s episodes with witnessing future events as if they were a memory and then actually living out those events in the near future. She also includes other types of time warp events that cannot be explained by the participant. Some of these events occur during life-threatening situations, but the overwhelming majority of them are about mundane events. And, that’s what really sticks out to me. Most of the folks she interviews are ordinary people, doing ordinary things, who are experiencing something they can’t explain and don’t understand why it’s happening.

Neuroscience has given us good explanations for the chemical changes that occur during crisis episodes that give us the sensation of time slowing down to such a degree that we can take in vast amounts of information all at once. There are also good physical descriptions of why we feel time passing quickly or slowly depending on what we are doing. But, that doesn’t explain future memory episodes or the type of time acceleration I undergo.

Have you experienced a time warp bubble? You are welcome to post your comments here.