Tag Archives: time

Its time

Just a poem about nature.

We battle our way on these tracks we call roads, following all the other sheep going who know where to do who knows what, until we use the same tracks to take us back to get fed and rested before we all do it again. We live in concrete towers, in boxes within them, we work to earn money for the right to live there and eat processed so call food with plastic knives and forks, and spoon or shovel dessert into the gaping hole in the front of our heads. We wear coverings called clothes and shoes from people who are clever enough to get us to part with our earnings for pieces of material held together by the flimsiest of threads.

Those pesky Ibises have come around again, making a mess of our manicured lawns and concrete parks. The try to deprocess the food so they can digest what goodness if any that has been left behind. Get out! We shout. Go back to where you came from. But, they say, this is where we came from before you knocked down out trees, filled in our lakes and built airports so you can fly free like we once did.

We don’t like where this river is going. The river doesn’t like where you are going. Fill it in and it will flood. Then the people complain. Their habitats are wet. Go live on the plain says the river. This mountain is in the way, lets blow it up. But that’s not what God meant when he said to move mountains. You change the water courses, you level the mountains, you build your palaces and expect nature to comply. Its not gonna happen.

Ghost towns pop up where resources have dried. Land is reclaimed and rivers gouge out the paths they were originally intended to take. Bend with the land or it will beat you down. Bend with the land and it will feed you, shelter you and care for you like its own babies. But cross it, continue to cross it and ask for devastation. Man is not going to win this war.

It’s time. Time to reconnect with the land. Time to listen and no longer demand. Time to give back and not just take, until your back aches. It’s time to plant and to grow, then later reap the harvest that was meant for you. It’s time to let the animals run free. To allow them to frolic and just let them be. It’s time to listen to what the land needs. It’s been shouting for years, it pleads, and it bleeds.

Will we shut up and let nature have it’s say? Before it destroys us all and calls it a day. We can blow bits off it and leave it barren and bare. We up and move house to another part where the leaves still grow and the meat is plentiful, before we destroy that too and then we may know.

Oh shit, what have we done.

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Time is ticking away

I have been studying the use of time in literature, and the use of it in my own writing. A little while ago, I answered a writing prompt with a piece I called the Somellier. I mentioned at the time that I was using this prompt to write a longer piece for my assignment. It turned out ok, but what it also produced was an exercise in the study of time.

The Sommelier Exegesis.

The idea that time is in fact in a circle instead of a ‘timeline’ is not a new one. In the holy scriptures of Judaism and Christianity, the religions of Egypt, Buddhist, and Hindu texts alike, the idea that time is not a line is confirmed often. The theory is known as eternal return. It is the intent of this essay to show that time must be thought of as not linear, but as a circle. The exegesis will explore how this idea was manifest in the creative work and reflect on works studied and not studied in class to strengthen the argument.

Christianity shows that life itself continues beyond the grave, in the quote, “one must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven” (“Biblegateway” NIV John3:2). Of course, the quote is not referring to rebirth of a known human kind, but that of an infinite kind. God himself said, “If they ask who sent you, tell them that I am” (Exodus 3:14), using present tense, not past. God says he is “the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev 21:6) while both David and Daniel say, “His Kingdom is everlasting” (Psalm145:13 and Daniel 7). The prophet Ezekiel said of his vision that he sees everything as a wheel, within a wheel said that “everything has a season” (Ecclesiastes 3)

Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;

and God will call the past to account. (Ecclesiastes 3:15)

 

Eternal return has been used as a theory of time for centuries and by many different religions. The Ouroboros is pictures as a snake eating its own tail to suggest that life goes on in a circle. The flower of life looks like a series of smaller circles inside a bigger one to represent the cycle of life being eternal. In Indian religions the belief in reincarnation is itself a belief in the circles of life. In tantric Buddhism the wheel of time is known as the Kalachakra expresses the idea of endless cycles of time and knowledge (“Eternal Return”).

The eternal return is an idea that was expressed in recent times by Friedrich Nietzsche (Ross). However, Nietzsche saw this as a burden rather than accepting it as inevitable. In Thus spoke Zarathustra the dwarf states that “straight lines hold lies, the truth is crooked, and that time is a circle” (“Thus Spake Zarathustra, By Friedrich Nietzsche” XLVI The Vision and the Enigma pt 2, line 9-17). This statement was said to be oversimplifying things. But the author of this essay and creative work feels that sometimes things need to be simplified to be understood.

In thinking of the cosmos as microsections of time, we can look at the minute, being 60 seconds. What happens when that minute ends? It starts again. 60 minutes make an hour, and then the hour starts again, and so on. It is why the clock is designed as a circle. The sundial tells the time in a circular pattern. The days, the years, the centuries are all repeated.

It makes sense then that humans each have their own circles of time. There is a season for each of us. The question is regularly asked. ‘How has your day been?’ meaning that the circle of time for the person asked differs from the one who has asked. When one meets an acquaintance, one might say ‘we have to catch up’ which means there is a need to synchronise the circles and recall and relay any news that has happened to each over a period of time.

In the creative piece this is also true. For the main character, Allen, he sees that his father’s circle has ceased to turn on the earth. Allen himself operates in his own circle of time, which includes wine, and Simon as well as city living. His father’s circle interacts with his own whenever Allen is with his father. This will include fishing, drinking strong black coffee and feeding the birds. Allen is unaware of his father’s circle of time when he is not present. But he wonders about it with the discovery of the photo in the phone.

Memory is a bit part of this story as Allen recalls times with his father. The photo brings the past into the present, as does the letter. They are both reminders to Allen of the life that his father once had but also of his own mortality. Memento mori… all that lives will surely die (“Memento Mori”). Sufis of Ethiopia are often called people of the graves because of their habit of visiting graves and contemplating the vanities of life.

The choice of music is used to calm the spirit but also to invoke memories of his father. This was a tactic used in dementia patients by Oliver Sacks and adopted by many others since. “Music evokes emotion and emotion memory.” (Sacks) The morning routine and seeing himself in the mirror as a younger version of his father are other ways in which this memory is expressed.

The letter in the story represents that Allen’s father also recollects times when they were together, when his love was expressed and the fathers awareness that Allen runs in a different circle than his own, with the revelation that the father has known all along that Allen is gay, and that Allen likes his wine. The letter is a way in which the father is again brought into the present through memory. The letter also shows that his father is aware of his own mortality, possibly prompted by the death of his wife (“Memento Mori”).

The repetition of dialogue also confirms that life runs in a circle, the same words, expressions, and routine, again and again, until finally the death of the father brings a deviation in the circle.

The idea that time runs in circles has been propagated by many religions in the world and is also the basis of many philosophies both modern and ancient. The creative piece seeks to show that not cycles of time are not just mega, as in the universe or community but also personal. Each person has his own circle of time, which is interrupted by interactions with other people’s circles. The interactions with letters, photos and music bring the past back to the present in the circle of time.

 

 

Work Cited

“Biblegateway.Com: A Searchable Online Bible In Over 150 Versions And 50 Languages.”. Biblegateway.Com, 2020, https://www.biblegateway.com/.

“Memento Mori”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_mori.

Ross, Alex. “Nietzsche’S Eternal Return”. The New Yorker, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/14/nietzsches-eternal-return.

Sacks, Oliver. Musicophilia. Vintage Books, 2008.

Susan Sontag On Photography 1977 p15 (From Lectures)

“Thus Spake Zarathustra, By Friedrich Nietzsche”. Gutenberg.Org, 2020, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1998/1998-h/1998-h.htm#link2H_4_0053.         Extra information XLVI The Vision and the Enigma pt 2, line 9-17

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