The Land Beyond (Or Rather, Without) Time
Image Source: Sky News
What would you do with 69 days of continuous sunlight? Residents of the Norwegian Island of Sommarøy, which lies just north of the arctic circle, have decided that they no longer want to subscribe to the limitations of time during the period known as the ‘midnight sun’ where the sun rises on May 18th and does not set until July 26th. Who, you ask, might want to subscribe to a “time-free” lifestyle? The islanders say “there are dozens of us. Dozens!” Their reasoning for getting rid of conventional timekeeping for part of the year is that it would be easier for residents to adjust to the constant sunlight while making optimal use of the precious daylight months. Don’t forget, they also have to deal with the long polar night (yes, it’s just like Game of Thrones up there)!
While I can totally get behind the idea of tossing out the clocks and just chilling out, I have a few questions. Will they actually get rid of all the clocks? If so, what will they do for the other 9 months out of the year? Perhaps there could be a clock storage bunker installed somewhere on the island and on May 18th every year all the citizens must deposit their clocks there for locking up, to be redistributed on July 26th when they rejoin the rest of the timekeeping world. What about cell phones? Is there a way to get rid of the clock on your phone? What if you have to catch a bus or a flight, how will you know when to leave? Are there hourly workers employed on the island? How will they know when to start and stop working, and how will their employers know how much to pay them? I suppose when you think about it, however, none of these problems matter much at all if you have free public healthcare for all, generous parental leave policies, and live in the happiest nation in the world.
In reality how much of this hour-less lifestyle is truly void of all time measuring? Perhaps they have found that the fjords aren’t reason enough to visit and have resorted to clever gimmicks to encourage tourism. Really this whole idea just fills me with questions the last of which is would you even want to live without time?
Posted by Catherine