Monday, 29 September 2008

Train Tracks of Time

“It is as if [time]” writes Claudio Magris, in Danube “were composed of a great number of railway-lines, intersecting and diverging, carrying it in various and contrary directions.”

Magris goes on to say that the train of time moving into the future “every so often meets another train coming in the opposite direction, from the past, and for a short while that past is with us, by our side, in our present.”

When you watch the surface of a slowly flowing river you can see little eddies, tiny whirlpools that circle around before resuming their course. It seems to me quite possible that time moves in a similar way, with spiral dances where so-called past returns and is in our present, now, only it's not the same because we see it with the eyes of our present awareness. Look at photographs of your own past and you see, not just the image, but your awareness then, at the time you took the photograph. You remember the mood at that moment.

On a walk near St Antonin, you remember the feeling of vertigo as you crept forward to the edge of the cliff, to look down on the river

and the heat when the sun came out from behind the big clouds, and the way the butterflies danced out over the abyss with no signs of vertigo, and when the blue ones closed their wings they became straw coloured.

these reflections in the Aveyron of buildings of St Antonin, and of sky, were taken in early evening, as the sun was going down.

And this is rue frézal, early one sunny morning.