Time and space ground us. They keep us sane. We do not realize it, but if placed outside of the element, we would succumb to insanity, losing grip with reality. There is a part of Nails Jane that gets me – it drives me mad just to read about it. Playing on my own fear of not knowing the time, or not knowing where I am, I wrote a chapter about my protagonist being marooned on a desolate, frozen planet where the days are extremely short and everything around her is blizzard-like, flat, windy, blinding. It all looks the same. Just endless amounts of snow. This quote from the chapter terrifies me:
“Desensitized to physical exhaustion, my mind suffered torment, inhibited from grasping measurement. Unable to adjust to shortened days, time became an indeterminate moment. And unable to gauge my distance traveled, every step behind me appeared the same.”
I think that really would be my own personal Hell.
I love writing about things that would drive people to insanity. You don’t know what time it is – ever. That would drive you insane. The concept of time, the fact that we measure it, amazes me. Yes, that makes me appear simple-minded. But it’s amazing that we have this system of measurement. It grounds us. You can measure time roughly by the sun, but on cloudy days or celestial shifts, who knows how that would impact your own mental calendar. You would age yourself weirdly, hence why some people in the Bible are said to be over 900 years old (Methuselah).
It’s crazy how isolation from measurement can make the world seem fantastic and unreal…