finally, i know the face of my enemy: the clock face. just back from a month in australia and suffering the time between solstice and the new year, the dead space, i'm falling back into the abyss. can time ever be on my side? only in the case of sickness it seems, or maybe in a time of war. in other words when the dark clouds loom.
otherwise, the minutes and hours rope me in as though i were a wild steer. i'm driven to make appointments for the dentist, to arrive at work on time, to submit to deadlines. ah, dead indeed. true, the ultimate fear of hitting a wall can motivate me to do an astounding amount of work at the last moment. as someone wiser than myself said, "A goal without a deadline is but a dream."
how can travel, then, be an escape from time? don't trains have to be caught, museums opened. banks in business? can these treacherous waters be successfully sailed without a watch! no, but being on the road and not constrained by duty, that's where the freedom comes in. vacations exist as a timeless space, despite beginning and end. yes, the termination has to be forgotten in the luxury of spacing out.
and here we choose what to adhere to and what not. a journey of the best kind consists of our choices, not somebody else's. can there really be a working holiday? i doubt it, not for me. AND WHY DO WE WANT THE SPACE WHERE MINUTES DON'T TICK. they take us, those ticks and tocks, to an ultimate end. i still find it strange i am to die. it's very hard to imagine a universe without me.
and i think it's the human condition. as buddha said, 'try to find someone who has not lost someone.' can't be done. and aging seems to be a desperate attention to the time we may or may not have left. and we're around people obsessed with the same question. i see the worry in their eyes. and retirement isn't a vacation, having no end except the inevitable, simply a waiting game.
and what is sleep but death and the abolition of time. in the dream-state everything exists, side by side, morphing into opposites. i start the night male, as i fall asleep. soon i'm a prostitute on an empty street, suddenly picked up by three giant mice offering me a piece of cheese. if this isn't the beyond, i don't know what is. and isn't insomnia simply the fear of not returning? when i can't sleep, i find myself trying to solve the everyday problems of existence.
yes, time and sleep equal death. yet, if we can fall into the right rhythm, i escape both time and death. that's the paradox. and any journey to foreign territory is the same. "Everything you ever wanted lies just outside your comfort zone." time, death, and depression, what can they be but pattern repetition, wearing out our ability to focus on what's near us. and science reinforces time, everything in it based on it. no wonder so many people come to hate science.
what about art? can it do anything for us? hopefully, art takes us into a timeless space. the techniques and visions of art, when they work, have us floating free, in a brain wave of trance. art is a spiritual vacation. those who want us to be working drones fear art, downgrade it.'keep to the wheel', they say. no, if you want to defeat mortality, if only for a moment, go on the road, and stand before the mona lisa.