3 July 2013
The film is a project by Simon Christen, called Adrift—he described it as “a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area.” It took my breath away, and for awhile I forgot that I am in a small room in a third world country. For awhile I was lost in the mist and the sunlight, floating along the ridges of the California coast. Four minutes and thirty five seconds felt like hours.
He had no notion of the passage of time; death was a minor incident which he ignored completely and those who were lodged in his memory continued to exist and their dying altered nothing whatsoever. Several years later, after the old man had died, he was described as having maintained the stubborn notion that the future and the present were one.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
There are days when I seem to lose time. Have you ever had that, felt that?
I had some journal entries where I talk about these confusing, scary moments. Once, I mixed up the days. Another, I was so sure the week is ending, when it’s just beginning, and vice versa. I ask myself: where have I gone? Where did the days go?
I don’t know which I hate more: that I don’t know what happened during those missing hours, that I don’t know if they really did exist or just a figment of my imagination, or that I’m not as anchored to my present as I would like to be, for me to be able to disappear like that.
I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.
― Julian Barnes, from The Sense of an Ending
My friend G. and I were talking about how much we loved the show, The X-Files, and how it is celebrating its 20th anniversary come September. I asked her, we’ve been obsessed with this since we were around 10, 11?! And she says since we were ten. We have been fans of this show for seventeen years now. Seventeen years. Wow. I marveled at that.
And then a thought inserted itself: I believed I started being emotionally invested in Sherlock Holmes and John Watson since I was ten. But now it seems it couldn’t have been―I know I was a detective first before I wanted to become a forensic scientist. So it must have been earlier than ten years old. Possibly nine, or maybe eight, since I remember going to a library and hunting for the titles, which meant I was already going to school.
I can’t believe that my memory is a bit faulty when it involves something close to my heart. I know I need proof, I must have it, but where to look? I haven’t owned books (I mean, bought them from my own money) until I was much older, and I didn’t keep a diary until I was almost a teenager and angsty. I kept my love for Sherlock Holmes fiercely close to me because it wasn’t a conventional choice of a hero for a girl during that time. I didn’t talk to anyone about it so I have no mirror who can show me what is and isn’t. Oh man. This will bug me all night―all week, I know it.
But isn’t it enough―to know that I have loved them, and that I still love them, after all these years? What does time matter, in the end?
Would you rather be adrift or anchored in time?