Just a k)not(e

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jul 31 2008

These last couple of months I have been thinking about this blog more than I have been writing on it. There just wasn’t Time. That doesn’t mean I have not been writing. I have done, maybe, more writing than usual. A few weeks ago, I finished the last required class for my degree (of participation). When I thought it was over and things will go back to normal I was numb for a week. Excited. But not very capable of being present, or going back to my usual poetic writing. It was not a good feeling, this numbness. It is a place-less-ness. A lack of feeling. I am here now. A kind of noise one has to work hard to quieten, an instrument out of tune.
I can feel little glimmers of poetry trying to shine through now, two or so weeks after. But I have to try hard.
I picked up The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I thought if I get lost in a book maybe I will tease myself out. Yes, it will work, but it is slow. It is a matter of Time? But what is Time?
In my early 20s I remember getting a poem published in Password put out by the English Philology Department of Sofia University, I am going to reproduce it here.


What is time? I asked an old woman.
She said, three thrity-five,
as if she knew I was already late,
and puzzled she was still alive.

What is time? I asked an old man.
He said, I don’t have any,
and smiled as if the fact
made him superior to many.

So I must have been obsessed about the topic of time early in my life. And this seems to have picked up again lately since I have been quite mindful of quotes about Time. Take a moment and think of your own definition. Or read on what (so far) I have found others have said.

Time is urban sprawl, the hours go on forever. You wait out your thoughts.
—Sue Sinclair (Mortal Arguments)

Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot the even the very notion of time.
—Yann Martel

Time became distance for me in the way it is for all mortals—I travelled down the road of life—and I did other things with my fingers than try to measure latitude.
—Yann Martel (Life of Pi)

Time is welding the men to the ship’s body parts. —Karen Solie (Modern and Normal)

Time is the warp and matter the weft of the woven texture of beauty in space, and death is the hurtling shuttle.
—Annie Dillard

Time itself was a scroll unravelled, curved and still quivering on a table or alter stone.
—Annie Dillard

Time is a continuous loop, the snake skin with scales endlessly overlapping without beginning or end, or time is an ascending spiral if you will, like a child’s toy slinky. Of course we have no idea which arc of the loop is our time, let alone where the loop itself is, so to speak or down whose lofty flight of stairs the slinky so uncannily walks.
—Annie Dillard

Living is moving; time is a living creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fulness of what I see shatters.
—Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

What is Time? I still ask. There is more to be said. There is more to be written. When was the last time you defined your time?

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