When I look at a calendar showing an entire year at a glance I am reminded of two things: 1) how succinct our time is; and, 2) how condensed are the days, weeks and months. One would have to be especially creative to infuse even a year with anything resembling expanse. The moment one restates the minutes of the days in packages of weeks or months it becomes an Alice in Wonderland world of bizarre diminishing sizes.
This high or abstract view is afforded when the current fervour of activity has relented momentarily or, what is often the same thing, a particular plateau is attained along the path of one’s undertakings. The freakishness of the experience is confined to those instances when one is set upon accomplishing something, when our activity distracts us. Otherwise the effluxion of time is merely boring and protracted. My view is that the echelons of life correspond to productivity. If one has been busy getting things done, the instant a plateau of achievement is reached, the spinning world stops howsoever briefly.
A plateau signifies not only an area of relatively level high ground enabling us to reconnoitre whence we have come and wither we go; it also permits a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress, a quiescent period, a letup, respite or lull. Inherent is the further element of junctures, ascension and advance. A plateau is seldom considered a final resting point but rather a stopping point along the way, an overview and a time to relax before continuing on. These breaks from our daily exigencies are periods of refreshment and regrouping. As focussed as we often are upon our goals it behooves us to pause and get the measure of our progress. It may even accord a good night’s sleep (often a deprivation suffered during times of intense activity).
I know of no intellectual activity which succeeds without reflection and reconsideration. The plateaux allow the opportunity for pondering.