Monday, 1 February 2010

"Time present and time past

are both perhaps present in time future, and time future contained in time past" (Burnt Norton, TS Eliot)
There was a television programme I wanted to see last night - and did not get to. Other things got in the way. It was called "What time is it?" and was a BBC programme in case anyone is interested.
"Time" is just one of those odd concepts I am interested in. I have been interested ever since a Russian writer I met at a long ago Writers' Week at the Adelaide Festival of Arts told me of a Russian who, she said, claimed to be able to "stretch" time. How the topic came up I cannot remember but I know I ended up introducing her to Eliot's Quartets. She went back to Russia with a copy. I hope they did not confiscate it at the border.
Neither of us knew what to make of the concept of "stretching" time but I went on thinking about it. I am still thinking about it. I still do not know what to make of "time". What is it? I know we ususally think of it as linear - past, present, future - going forward. There are cultures where time is thought of as circular. I wonder if it can move up and down as well as forward? Can it move backwards - or sideways? Or is it something even more complex than that? Can it turn in on itself? Does time weave itself? Is it made up of many parts? Is there my time, your time, somebody else's time?How does it all fit together.
I see it in strands rather than blocks. There has to be something to connect with more than blocks would allow. Then I wonder if the "something" is actually "nothing" at all - and yet we need it.

8 comments:

Adelaide Dupont said...

Cat:

I also have been thinking a great deal about time.

A columnist wrote "Own the year".

I wonder how much of time we truly and genuinely own.

In as far as it is a human convention, we probably do own it a lot.

In as far as it is a process (perhaps biological or chemical), we don't.

catdownunder said...

I don't think we own time at all - or that we can even borrow it. I am not sure I understand it at all.

Rachel Fenton said...

I'm always amazed how one day can seem to zip by in less time than just one single hour of another day. Time is stretchy and then it contracts - like a worm - only prettier and not in the soil!

I love your idea of it being stringy. I think you could be onto something there.

catdownunder said...

Mmm...but does it tie itself in knots?

KarenG said...

I have a sudden urge to read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle...

I find the timing of things interesting. How our lives make a turn due to the timing of events. You see it all the time in the movies. How the wrong timing destroys a relationship, or the right timing allows two people to meet, and then they fall in love. (Sleepless in Seattle, for example) It's a fascinating topic.

catdownunder said...

A Wrinkle in Time - yes! Ages since I read it. I must look at it again.

Rachel Fenton said...

"A Wrinkle in Time - yes! Ages since I read it"
Haha - wrinkle - ages....

catdownunder said...

Miaou!