5.30.2012

There is No Such Thing As Time In The World of the Story.

This little photograph came from my Wednesday Window blog, but the truth is -- I'm only now getting it up two weeks after it happened.  (and the posts before that too!) The blooms across the yard of dropped off by now and I'm in a completely different frame of mind so the posts I'm writing in arrears is full of historical imagination.

But the magnificent thing about the internet is that I can backdate my posts with impunity.  If I put this picture on my facebook timeline, I could date it (falsely of course) in 1988 -- the year I graduated from college.  Using blogger, I could back date this post to May 16th or even future date it for tomorrow.

I could date the photo based on the brick wall that used to be a wall of windows capriciously bricked in by a college president who hated driving past the courtyard because he thought it an eyesore (nevermind that he stole the light from twenty other people who actually worked beside those windows).

I could also, of course (and more truthfully, I daresay) date it according to its subjects:  The African Elephant from the mantle in my grandparents basement: an icon of my childhood in the seventies, careless free-time playing with my Grandfather's world war two uniforms in a mysteriously delightful trunk that looked from another world;  the alarm clock (sans hands) from the cabin that reminds me of the feeling of vacation throughout my whole life -- time out of time, and all the beauty and leisure and space of the North woods and water;  the fronds of the plant that came from my father-in-law's funeral -- a reminder of his life and his death, in all of its blustery ambivalent force; the folded photo montage that Monica made and gave the kids reminding them and us of the happy ways she and they shared the small delights of childhood (leafpile jumping for one);  the hazy opaque translucent glass block: a window within a window that reminds me of a time of surprise and beauty and happiness.

And in that way, all of these objects are stories in the own way and objects that story the space of my office, and they remind us that the space in any story is as much the about memory as it is about the events and the actions and the consequences of the particular moment.

We live in a time where time tyranically towers over our choices and affinities: I love that STORY (and, in this case, the internet) releases us from that kind of time and immerses us in a better way of understanding time --  unstable, memorable, resonant and fluctuating -- more like our lives than our obligations....

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