Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time waits for no man

I'm not sure who said that but at times in my life it becomes my catch cry. It came to mind again when I read the blog of a friend and he was commenting on the structure of time. Read his blog (and my comment) here.

I love that sort of philosophical discussion. It's so circular.

We start at a point of pondering and think and talk out along tangents and around corners and eventually end up at almost exactly the same place we began. It's wonderful. You achieve almost nothing but you feel as if your brain has had an incredible workout and suddently you're capable of flexing quite impressive mental muscles. To what purpose I'm not quite sure!

Memory and the way it's linked to time fascinates me. I have three sisters and at times (not so often the older we get) we all get together and talk usually ends up at some point in our childhood. We all were born of the same parents, lived in the same house, ostensibly had the same upbringing but we all remember exactly the same things totally differently.

At some point my family were on holiday in a small country town in western Queensland. It's desert out there. All dry, sinking bull dust (very fine grey sand, like talc) and masses of magnificent wild flowers when it rains (that usually happens every 7-12 years in the spring). It must have been January 1973 because I had not long turned 12. I have no idea how long we were there although my younger sister could tell me to the day. I remember it being so hot that the thermometer (that went to 120oF) sitting inside the house in front of the air cooler blew the mercury out the top. I have memories of dust storms that coated the entire inside of the house with 1/2 inch of dust - and that's with all the windows and doors closed and towels stuffed around the cracks. My eyes stung and my lungs felt clogged for days afterwards. I remember going for long walks with my younger sister and hiding under a bridge to sneak cigarettes. For the life of me, though, except for one fishing expedition, I can't remember my older sisters being there at all.

Does that mean that at the times they weren't there (for me) they didn't exist in that moment of time? If I didn't notice them, were they even there? Or was I the one not there for that time? Is time perception? Just as memory appears to be?

And immediately I'm struck by the absolute arrogance of my remarks. I'm a human being so therefore the world and everything connected to it revolves around my perceptions of it. Just like it does in my real life.

Yeah, sure.

1 comment:

Jim Harris said...

That's interesting. For long stretches of kid time I have tuned out my parents. I know they were there somewhere, but they aren't in my memories.