When I was young I would watch cartoons and thought that when I blinked, the characters on screen were doing something else. Those fleeting hundred milliseconds taunted me. I couldn't participate in the alternate world where things were even more absurd than what was already happening on screen. The story would continue, but I felt there was another thread that I was missing during those moments of darkness.
I never really gave it much thought in my adult years until this morning. I woke up at 6:20 AM which is quite unusual for me even though I do set an alarm for 6:30 every morning--wishful thinking. I woke up because there was a pain in my leg from a rather gruesome gash that happened the day before (a story to delve into at a later time). I woke up and my room was that grayish-blue of the early morning, my clothing rack just a black lumped silhouette in front of me. I wondered whether it, along with the rest of my possessions, had remained intact and motionless throughout my six hours of slumber.
To create a whole new dimension based on what happens when we are not actively looking/being present in our surroundings is not a new habit for me. It has always been something I pushed myself to explore. Scientists say that we subconsciously time our blinks so that we don't miss visual information. At least this is the case with things like cartoons with a visual storyline that needs to be followed. What they don't talk about is what could happen during the time your eye is shut. But why would they? This dilemma is personal, a mind game that operates on another plane of existence.
Blinking is just something we humans are programmed to do. It refreshes our ocular surface, removes debris from the environment we live in (like filthy New York City) and prevents infection. Just thinking about blinking and becoming aware of each blink is such a nerve wrecking cycle. Am I doing it correctly? How many times has it been?? What is happening when my eyes are shut for those 100-400 milliseconds??? This is reminiscent of when I would become hyper aware of the breathing patterns of a person I was sleeping next to and I had to match it in order to feel at ease. Luckily, I do not feel the need to match my blinking cycle with those around me.
There would be ways to actually study what does happen during those fleeting dark moments when a person shuts their eye to blink: Having others present to take notes on what is happening around them or setting up a video camera to record the person's surroundings. However, this can create new problems like differing perspectives, human error and more blinking while studying your findings! What happens when one person has their eyes shut and the other doesn't? Or what if these people have synchronized blinks? I suppose you could also just practice not blinking for a few seconds while watching the cartoon to see if anything does actually happen. No matter how many tangible variables you study, what happens during the darkness is something you have to search for yourself.
"About six seconds of every minute are lost to blinking. That’s ten percent of a minute. In a 150-
minute long movie, we lose 15 minutes for blinking and in an average lifespan we spend two
Although it has been shown that our brain does shut down and reboot itself every time we blink, our mentality varies from person to person, allowing for different interpretations of what happens during those short moments of darkness. It depends on our psyches and whether or not we agree with the idea that we exist within intersecting planes of reality. I do believe that there is more than what our eyes can see, constantly moving around us at any given time. Vibrations from light, energy and the elements are able to coexist with our understanding of the world. Things are happening when our eyes shut, but perhaps we are not meant to know what it is. We exist in a pure state of lucidity no sooner than we are shoved back into this mundane reality. Because of my experience with animation and film I understand that each frame can be manipulated and controlled. If another dimension does exist within a Flintstones or Jetsons episode, it wouldn't be found in the actual animation but rather in the residue it leaves behind.
Yesterday I finally finished One Hundred Years of Solitude. I am embarrassed to admit that I have been reading this book on and off for the past four years. But yesterday was a Sunday and I was determined to get through the last quarter. I don't want to say that it was worth the wait but it definitely was satisfying to linger on this last sentence:
'...everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.'