In the 16th century Philippines, Visayans had ingeniously divided the day into hours based on events like: Iguritlogna, the time that hens lay eggs. Or Natupongna sa lubi, the time when the sun descends into the palm trees. My favorite is Makalululu, the hour when you point to the sun and your bracelets slide down your arm. Bracelet-sliding time. It even sounds poetic.
We can chop time into precise numerical abstractions – seconds, minutes, hours. Or map it onto the phases of the moon. We can mark it by the body’s life cycle – birth, walking upright, a girl’s first menses, the fruitful swelling of her womb. We can mark time by ritual rite of passage — circumcision to signal a covenant with God or a bar mitzvah when a boy reads his Torah portion and becomes a man. Eras, epochs, ages, decades, centenials. However we do it, we human beings gage our own time.
Imagine: gold bangles rest on your wrists. The slow rise of your hand as you point to the sun. The faint tinkle of gold as ten bracelets slide cool, smooth, down to your elbows. Makalululu, the Hour of Sliding Bracelets.
I reserve this thread, this space on my blog for pondering time, savoring the wild romp and process of writing stories that transport us to past ages and the distant shores of memory.
Time. History. Writing. Reading. Ahhhhh. *contented sigh*
Welcome to the passages of skin and gold.