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Other  |   November 2004
Time, Space, and the Kaleidoscopes of Occupation
Author Affiliations
  • Ruth Zemke, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor Emeritus, 1901 Mimosa Place, Fullerton, California 92835-2245; rzemke@usc.edu
Article Information
Health and Wellness / The 2004 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture
Other   |   November 2004
Time, Space, and the Kaleidoscopes of Occupation
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2004, Vol. 58, 608-620. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.6.608
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2004, Vol. 58, 608-620. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.6.608
Abstract

Our daily round of occupations occurs within time and space. Our understanding of occupation has traditionally viewed time and space as part of the external environment. Patterns of the “when?” and “where?” of occupations can be described. But relating time and space to the internal experience of occupation reflects more of the meaning to individuals and more complex patterns arise. Like the varied bits of glass in the object case of an art kaleidoscope, the multiple elements of occupation interact. Reflected in mirrors of our choice, we find always-changing, complex patterns of daily occupation. The elements of occupation most important for maintaining or regaining health and the mirrors and lens through which we view occupation historically have formed shifting patterns in occupational therapy, patterns of how we view ourselves, our practice, and those to whom we provide our services. We must combine the science and the art of occupational therapy as the metaphor of the kaleidoscope combines both, producing awe and wonder at the result.