Yesterday I visited the National Air Traffic Control Centre and stood in the viewing gallery marvelling at how the people controlling the flights looked so calm and relaxed. I found out something I never realised before, despite being a regular flyer: how the airspace is split both horizontally and vertically.
This made me suddenly very aware of an extra dimension that, every minute of the day, is used by us to make our way around the world . As I watched the little dots and numbers take off, land and make their way along the motorways in the sky, my world opened up into another way of seeing how big the globe is make me wonder about how time works when we take to the air – do we travel through time when we go faster? Or is that just relative to our location and our self?
Later on in the day, I visited Romsey Abbey with a colleague, to kill a few hours. We looked at the wonderful Norman architecture and the stained glass windows, and the remembrance slabs from the 1700’s and eventually came to a part of the church floor that had been excavated.
The excavation notes that the abbey was built on top of a smaller church, that was built on top of a place of worship ‘of unknown origin’.
The shape of the abbey floor plan reminded me that many Christian churches were built on the sites of pagan places of worship, and that the hole in the ground represented many, many layers of how people had coped with their lives through religion throughout the ages. Looking into the hole made me wonder how many people had stood on this spot throughout the years looking for solace in a higher beings, and if there were any answers through the ages to the questions they asked – or of the questions had become enduring problems becasue they are entrenched in stories of suffering and sacrifice?
So, I became aware of an enormous network of layers above me and and enormous network of layers below me, each connected by questions of time and how people experience life. Suddenly the world isn’t so solid and real, but a much more fluid and flexible place with time as another way of looking at things.