02 July 2009

This imaginary hour

Bruce and I were having one of our many theological conversations (I hesitate to call them debates since neither of us are particularly invested in what we’re saying), and Bruce put to me the idea that since we can’t conceive of infinity, maybe there is a God. A rather A-Z analysis of a more complex idea he had, but this was the general thrust of his argument.

I countered with the theory that Infinity didn’t exist until humans came along and created it – an unfortunate by-product of an artificial notion of time.

This got me thinking, though, about Time. Paul Auster kicked it off really, with his wonderfully clear prose in Man in The Dark, and though he wasn’t writing anywhere in the vicinity of my thoughts (or perhaps my thinking wasn’t anywhere in the vicinity of his writing – that sounds right, actually), it was as though his words had suddenly cleared a path through the unruly jungle of consciousness itself and I realised:

We live every moment of our lives, as it’s happened and as it has yet to occur, simultaneously - all the time. This is to say that we are the clocks, and each event we have lived, and will ever live, has been etched into our faces from very early on, maybe from the moment we became self-aware. Maybe even those who lack self-awareness do this, as it’s not something to realise but is instead a state of being.

I haven’t thought it through any better than that and, in any case, I’m sure it’s a load of bollocks like everything else that shoots into my head. But today it helps me to think this for some reason.

I keep looking at families in the midst of their lives and wondering when we will ever reach this or that stage ourselves, always forgetting to recognise what is happening in the here and now.

It is so important to try and glean as many nutrients from this moment as you can, or you’ll be waiting a good long time for that imaginary hour to arrive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, especially on that last sentence. For whatever reason, I think people spend far too much time worrying about 'what if'(often directing that question backward through time, which strikes me as particularly pointless). It's not always easy, but staying present in your life - being aware of things as they occur - can lead to riches untold. I firmly believe this.