Saturday, 11 September 2010

more on time travel

the ghost of time has been with me throughout the last year. it has become a structuring device. an organizing framework for sense-making. it allows me to time travel. so I did last Sunday night – my neighbour’s loud and evident love at 4 am for put me firmly at a table, at the entrance of the t-keller with some rioja and him, some time in 1999; and as the associations tumbled along, it was a year and one day that I sat in the kitchen of the white room and suddenly had words for that restlessness in my body and my heart. a restlessness intermingling with fear. not the ordinary fear of the world outside but the ordinary fear of the world inside. in fact, the fear of that restlessness. that there would only ever be restlessness. that at all crucial moments in time, these would be inscribed by restlessness. those sensations that travel from my gut up to the back of my throat, shedding adrenaline through my body, making it tingle everywhere.

high alertness and yet nowhere to move.

the ghost of time as expression of a past as it inflected on the future in the very present. it is my specific time travel: backwards and forwards and then let it all collapse into the now. has noone ever thought of this before?

once the words were written at the kitchen table while it was getting dark outside, they took concrete form. rather than another pdf on my hard drive, they called for moving further, onto paper, into print and illustration. that transformation of the bodily sensation into external document was deliberate. as I had written about taking pictures to the framer and thereby externalising them, giving them their own subject being – one so much less owned by me, so was this.

it was a gift, a memento (and so much mori), to him, but even more so to myself. psychoanalysis has probably clearly defined terms for such externalising of loss and grief. it becomes material and thus separate from the self.

looking back at the traces on the blog I am surprised how it also became intimately tied up with my departure – a physical and a mental one during October and November. looking at the posts I don’t remember several of them – if the presence is so full, I find that it leaves little space to be remembered in detail later. so while I was leaving and yet staying, the ghost of time did precisely that: it ghosted my time in absence. marked out a space of loss in the present that was past while I was practising the future. looking back at this I feel intensely grateful. for having taken it so serious for all those years. those years were important. and for this departure.

so, the ghost is alive. it has a name, a cover and a blue dust jacket. in all this he’s circulating – circulating without me, on his own. as much as there is continuity in the memory of loss, there can be other continuities. I am aware of how they are wilfully productive: productive of all kinds of conciliatory and soothing emotions. as if the world operated as a tit for tat.

I was going to write some more about the sense-making of one’s experiences by others. but, as often, i. has provided me with good questions which in the process reveal much more about my own sense-making than that of others. inspiration can work through all sorts of ways and produce all kinds of resonances. it is not as such an indicator for trying to trace authenticity. it only serves a reminder to myself who the ghost of time will always be for me. a moment in the past that restructures all possible futures in any present.

so, why not have some more of this. another glass of wine?

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