Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Mists of Time

"Memory ... often strikes me as a kind of dumbness. It makes one's head heavy and giddy, as if one were not looking back down the receding perspectives of time but rather down on the earth from a great height, from one of those towers whose tops are lost to view in the clouds."
W G Sebald, The Emigrants (Ambros Adelwarth), 1996

It has been raining for forever. Deprived of vitamin D, suffering from SAD, memories of pleasant past times are fuel for the fire. The gloom has its own gorgeousness though, closed in, isolated, while the land slowly becomes water, changing states. Sea level rise hardly seems the problem, as the water table is now the equivalent of ground level anyway.
And so, memory's mists lay beneath this vertiginous position, from up upon the tower. Sometimes, memories condense on window panes. Drawing pictures on the window, writing words, suddenly the layers of time all come into sharp tension. The immediacy of the drawn line, the amorphous condensation, and somewhere beyond it, the wild blue distance of time and space. Returning later in the day, it has all gone. The message, the moisture, and only the view remains. Michel Foucault comes to mind, as he speculated on the fragility of the constructions of things - of instistituions, of knowledge - " man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea..."

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