Topography in Time

And spatiotemporal slippage.

brown and black galaxy with stars

Sure, I can nod when I hear the term. I can even use it myself. Watch. Space-time continuum. Like I know. Like I’m not still wondering what any of this actually is, and why this witness, this now, if that is what this––is (Was? Will be?).

Perhaps this is not a term for me to be using. Frankly, I’m not even so sure about some things that appear to be much more concrete, like, say, the salt flats, or pinecones.

I will confess, I have not experienced time as a continuum, although I have played along with the idea. I have no way to verify whether others are also playing along, but I always seem to be sliding in and out of whatever this is, like a tiny microbe in a net designed for larger creatures. Now in, now out, and if the net is pulled up, will I know?

If time is like movement and place is like a pause in the current, does it follow that a witness can only know a place because of time, and does this mean that space is time made visible? 

My mind is surely porous, but what about time itself, and to what extent is this mind made of it, and if space is the clearings between known points, is it infinite?

Don’t answer. Whatever you tell me, I’ll probably just nod like I get it, and float on.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

11 thoughts on “Topography in Time”

  1. I’m reminded of a scene toward the end of the film Time Bandits, by Terry Gilliam, where they ask the character playing god what makes him god or how does he know he is, and he says “because I understand how digital clocks work.”

      1. It’s a weird one! Step inside that guy’s mind and well, it’s weird.

      1. I think Terry was the only American among the Monty Python crew which is funny to me, because his humour seems so British as I’d imagine it. I think he also directed the film 13 Monkeys (with Bruce Willis) and you can see some of his offbeat sensibility in that too.

  2. I love this, Stacey! I’m sure you picked up on my preoccupation with time during the workshop we shared. You’ve captured an essence of it that transcends easy words (you have an immense talent for that), and I’m left in awe, once again.

    1. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this with me! You are giving me an immense smile : ) xoxo

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