Time is getting ever more crunched, ever more quickly it seems. As a kid, tall ships seemed so intriguing and I daydreamed about going to sea as Melville had.
Now these sailing ships at Dana Point look to me like beautiful museum pieces, even when they’re moving. So ponderous it would seem glacial to actually cross a sea in one. While some like this were still working ships, the Queen Mary was crossing the Atlantic more quickly regardless of winds.
Now she’s tied up at Long Beach next to monster cruise ships several times her size, and at her bow you can make out part of a submarine like those that once stalked her crossings. As we cruise past at a leisurely 100mph, taking days to go from England to America across a featureless heaving sea seems insufferable. One of our elders once asked what we’d do with all the time we saved on our computers. She was right of course, that something’s lost and something’s gained by living at our pace. But I’d never want to go back and wait days for an important message to arrive, when my phone can get it anywhere in the world within seconds. The crunching of time has made relaxing in a field of flowers watching the birds and bees all the more delicious by contrast.