More specifically concerning: time
1 August 2001, around 14.20.
Piling pebbles upon the beach, the water laps against the sky, the low sound measuring time’s loss, the imponderable construction of a memory. Set one foot, then, in front of the other, and take no moment to look back, but continue – onward.
5 August 2001, around 14.44.
It all comes down to a matter of contrast (if one wishes to deal with certainties). This dislocation springs, no doubt, from the abrupt difference of colors, the infinite bright variety replaced by a limited palette of infinite subtlety; a harsh chalk (or pastel) quality to the lines converted to a skillful watercolor. Even so, […]
29 August 2001, around 14.41.
The first day alone; on my own. Faded grandeur of a forgotten self. Searching for lost books. Remembering old friends, neglected, of course, as they too often are. Baking scones, making tea. Existence in fragments. One cannot expect more. Even so. Just a note: I realized what it was, that most important thing that I’d […]
25 September 2001, around 16.47.
Gainful toil + useful work = wasted time. No reading. Only joy in Monteverdi & a bit of Horace and Pindar and Epicurus (‘Send me a little pot of cheese so that I can indulge in extravagance when I wish’, as per Diogenes Laertius) and Epictetus (Τῶν ἡδέων τὰ σπανιώτατα γινόμενα μάλιστα τέρπει – Those […]
5.05.02 – Sunday
5 May 2002, around 20.00.
Time passes with a measured and memorable wing during the first period of a sojourn in a new place, among new characters and new manners. Every person, every incident, every feeling touches and stirs the imagination. The restless mind creates and observes at the same time. Indeed there is scarcely any popular tenet more erroneous […]
Neither a borrower…
18 November 2002, around 16.31.
I have to remind myself it was only a book – mass-market paperback, pristine condition though bought used. I lent it to an acquaintance; I do not say she was a friend, because she was not. She was an acquaintance. At the time I would have compared her to a whirlwind, for wherever she went […]
25 February 2004, around 16.07.
fragment of a dialogue Is there a reason you haven’t bathed in almost a week? Is there a reason you consider my personal hygiene to be of general interest? Answer the question. Yes. There is a reason. Would you care to elaborate? When have I ever cared to elaborate? Let me rephrase: please share your […]
12 March 2004, around 10.58.
athletes and academics.
2 May 2004, around 8.24.
4 May 2004, around 8.22.
To move away from one thing is not necessarily to approach another, though this may be the unintended consequence; to move towards an object does not require departing from another – but this, too, often happens. Few can observe their impulses with perspicacity.
1 September 2006, around 12.21.
Cataloguing one’s home library has its good points. Entering in ISBNs and publication information is a wonderful way to devour time. One also gets a chance really to look at one’s books; one so seldom has the opportunity. One buys the book, sometimes one even reads it,1 and then it goes on the shelf, jumbled […]
7 January 2007, around 21.46.
These days I spend a lot of time crossing bridges. Partly because we moved across the river from practically everything we are interested in; partly because, well because my feet are getting itchy again. It’s amazing how deadlines work – one puts things off, doesn’t think about them, and then the time creeps up when […]
ginger mint lemonade
5 August 2007, around 20.52.
The way they look and see and go. Unable to slip a word in edgewise. Everything all at once but different times; missed tones in the afternoon. Expecting all receiving naught. Or aught. But chancing not to see. Finding out after the fact. A decade or so. Time not wasted, trim-waisted, but lost. Everywhere a […]
not at home
27 August 2007, around 0.30.
At home in the evening, planning escapades. The books read and unread gathering coffee stains and toast crumbs. The at one time unimaginable, commonplace. Things moving slowly. The sense of progress, though: gears turning, ticking well-oiled shiny. Intangible, unavoidable, inescapable. Backed into imagined corners that flatten and fade and open onto unexpected vantages. Yet continuance […]
of the times
12 September 2007, around 20.38.
fallen pears fermenting on the pavement indecisive days too warm and too cold leaden-eyed maidens drooping into evening slouching easily on an afternoon bicycle slumped down reading in a pillowed chair
20 October 2007, around 15.34.
We find under the weather a layer of sun, wrapped tidily around that parcel of time we call today. The year therefore rounded itself as a receptacle of retarded knowledge – a cup brimming over with the sense that now at least she was learning. —Henry James, What Maisie Knew, ch. IX
23 March 2008, around 20.35.
But memory’s sudden release of the genie held captive inside matter, like a spirit bottled by an evil witch, is much more often for me both generator and principle of a happy feverish fugue than the quietism of a Proustian illumination. Resparked, the precious images kept so long in darkness – all of them – […]
hold my coat and snicker
29 March 2008, around 0.38.
I remember being told by a teacher not to read Jane Eyre, because I would be reading it in her class in the fall. Of course I read it that summer. Propped in bed, or curled in a corner, but finally finishing peripatetic. That’s how I remember it, anyway. I walked the three miles from […]
30 March 2008, around 5.30.
Robert Musil gets twisted up.
8 January 2009, around 2.56.
the tapestry of memory…
27 January 2010, around 8.25.
A few notes on Swann’s Way:1 ‘Combray’ is high-modernist fancy, a lush novella of remembered childhood within the the clear framework of our narrator trying to fall asleep. Interesting in not being tied to a particular bout of insomnia – though still tightly bound with insomnia at Combray as a child. How is this going […]
17 April 2010, around 4.57.
A cup of over-steeped tea brings back the memory of student days, bent over a book, surrounded by papers, the tea overdrawing and becoming tepid, forgotten, on the desk. Legs crossed at the ankles, or sitting on one foot, it is possible to forget time itself, to say nothing of a cup of tea. A […]
fruits & spoils
7 August 2010, around 14.51.
The nourishing fruit of the historically understood contains time as a precious but tasteless seed.1 While content and language form a certain unity in the original, like a fruit and its skin, the language of the translation envelops its content like a royal robe with ample folds.2 —Walter Benjamin (Illuminations) ‘Theses on the Philosophy of […]
31 July 2012, around 9.23.
It’s nice not to have to focus on anything.
22 July 2013, around 17.02.
barrier to entry
31 August 2014, around 14.48.
Reading at the window, December 2013. There were too many things to do this summer, each day crowded with too of the little nothings that are so necessary if anything is going to happen. Now, though, projects are winding down, and there’s nothing to do but bustle about and procrastinate on those last few things […]
the long road
19 January 2015, around 7.56.
Robert Adam, Ruins of the palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (1764) From time to time out of the text there emerged little black figures which postured on the white paper beside it, achieved a group which was magical, an incantation to death, and ran back again into the text, which carried […]
19 October 2015, around 20.56.
Books that currently ‘saved for later’ – either because I hope to find them at the library book sale, at the local bookstore, or I really don’t have need of them – offered without comment: The complete works of Elizabeth Gaskell The complete works of Constance Holme Thomas Love Peacock, The Misfortunes of Elphin and […]
26 May 2016, around 18.29.
Rousseau on ubiquitous reading.
16 January 2020, around 5.04.
There is a feeling of relief, drawing near the front of the line at the movie theatre and seeing the clerk post a small notice that the next showing is sold out. It is the same thrill one gets when, after planning a meeting or outing, the other person calls or texts or writes and […]
16 February 2021, around 11.50.
‘Think in moderation. Remain on your bed. Contemplate on the wall the daylight vanishing, and the balance of light and shadow pursuing one another insensibly towards the night. Simple time is a great remedy.’ —Paul Valéry, Dialogues (trans. W.M. Stewart)
2 April 2023, around 8.16.
living with things.
19 May 2023, around 4.26.
Moment after moment we should follow the flow of time. You should go with time. When you become tired of doing something, you may talk about this way or that way, just to kill time. But when you see that the vegetables in the garden have almost dried up in the hot weather, you do […]
31 May 2023, around 6.21.
‘The deepest secrets are to be found in the simplest natural things, but, pining away for the Beyond, the speculative fantast treads them under his feet’ —Ludwig Feuerbach (‘Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy’, in The Fiery Brook: Selected Writings, p. 94, trans. Zawar Hanfi) ‘Even though many ideas come, we do not think about […]