Oscar is a music lover. When my web team Zsuzsi and John sent me this time zone image (see below) a while ago I was surprised, delighted, but didn’t quite know what to say (was I understanding it correctly?). Recently, we had a conversation and I asked them to post it as a kind of scherzo while Oscar is on holiday in August.
Scherzo in Italian shares the same-root verb as: scherzare (“to joke”; “to jest”; “to play”). Scherzo, in classical music, usually refers to a short, fast-moving humorous movement in a larger work such as a symphony (a nod to Wikipedia here). As a good joke often makes us think, this one certainly made Oscar think more than twice!
The other Oscar of Between
“I know where Betsy’s Oscar pseudonym comes from.”
My partner was gesturing toward this image:
We help Betsy with the technical issues of running this Web site and have become familiar with the Oscar of Between project. I’ve always wondered where “Oscar” comes from, but have never asked.
“What are we looking at?”
“It’s a map of the world’s time zones. Each has a phonetic alphabet name, like Zulu for Greenwich Mean Time. The time zone between Europe and North America is…Oscar. Here, look at this map, you can see the time zone names at the bottom.”
The triumphant conclusion:
“You see – Oscar of Between – the space between Betsy’s European roots and North American present. It’s a metaphor for distance and identity. There is even a Norwegian connection, because the whaling industry in South Georgia and several of the whaling stations there were founded by Norwegians. This between zone must be the inspiration for the Oscar name.”
Later I asked Betsy about it. She didn’t understand at first what we were talking about. She’d never heard of the mid-Atlantic time zone named Oscar. We had discovered something which had been there all along: a parallel version of Oscar of Between.
I really enjoyed this information. It is transversing the oscar zone in my brain now. Thank you. I would like to send a copy of my poetry anthology with my art to Betsy to thank her for mentoring me at Sage Hill. I would love it is I got some “earth zone” address.
The penultimate reveal. So much is clearer now, thank you 🙂 Of course I await the ultimate reveal from Oscar the self but am not sure how time travels across Oscar zone and what the rituals are. Is it like crossing the equator in a cruise ship and will there be champagne and dancing? Tridents ~ of any sort?
Thank you. I love the metaphor. You’ve got me thinking about the Oscarness of my own travels and belonging(s).
This line in Scherzo really struck: “Every inhabited place in that longitude –[of oscar] they all move their time zone lines to be part of a different zone.”
I was reminded of a nobody’s path or no mans land and the courage it takes to
move within that territory that lacks definitions. Today I picked up the book “Stirring the Mud” about swamps, bogs and the human imagination and took the following notes:
The bog belongs in the margin. It is the aside, the afterthought from which the spirit whispers.
‘Bog’ arrives to us from Middle English–the Irish or Scottish Gaelic bogach, which means ‘soft.’ (Other names: mire/quagmire and muskeg.)
The bog is a place of contradiction. It is both unclean and cleansing, alluring and taboo, curative and cursed. For thousands of years cultures have viewed bogs with suspicion and dread, as muddy places that arise from the ‘devil’s mouth.’
They are places lacking edges, definition and ground. The substrate is soft, formless, providing a haven for wild growth and the imagination.
Approaching the bog necessarily involves discomfort. We are invited into the margin, the moor, and the mud. When we stand in the bog we shape shift like the moss beneath our feet and are called upon to take a position that is unfixed.
In terms of locating Oscar I found the link to wetlands interesting. The position of the Oscar time zone straddles North America and Europe. Wetlands/bogs/swamps are also geographical features of both of these places, ‘places’ where the concrete dissipates.
It was mostly overcast on my nearly ten-hour flight from London back to Vancouver a couple of weeks ago so, uncharacteristically, I was rarely looking out the window. Having not lifted the window shade for some time I suddenly felt compelled to open it just in time to see the sky had cleared and we were approaching the south-west coast of Greenland’s water punctuated with icebergs. While in the UK I had little online access so when home, I checked this month’s post and comments and discovered that glimpse I had of Greenland from the plane was exactly on the western edge of the Oscar time zone!
Matea’s comment also arched my mind to a secret bog on a gulf island a resident initiated me to years ago. The water was silky to swim in but one had to fall in backwards due to the peat edges being unstable. So much like writing, isn’t it? In order to trust the narrative I must fall backward into it.
For the Iceland, Greenland, Acores Island etc…..like time zone :Oscar Time Zone.
What an amazing coincidence. Love it! And the book.