Adrift in Time

3 July 2013
8:55 PM


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?

Good evening,


4 thoughts on “Adrift in Time

  1. I want to say that I would rather be adrift in time, but I don’t think that’s true. I think I am always adrift in time, and I’ve recently been desperate for some sense of anchoring. Not anchoring — that feels too limiting. A rootedness. I like the idea of being rooted because it is a sense of something that still grows and still reaches the sky, rather than being weighted down by chains and held.

    I use Bloom as an example a lot. She knows how to be in the moment, how to stay in the present, and she loves her life, I like to think.

    “If you know that all is well, you know all you need to know. And if you know life is supposed to be fun, you know more than almost anybody else knows. And if you know that the way you feel is your indicator of how connected you are to Source, then you know that which only a handful of Deliberate Creators, respective to the total population, really know. The beasts all know it.
    Your animals know that all is well. Your animals live in the moment. They understand the power of their now. They expect the Universe to yield to them. They don’t worry or fret or conjure or make laws or rules or try to regulate. They are Pure Positive Energy. Your beasts vibrate more on the Energy scale of contentment than of passion. Their desire was set forth from Nonphysical, and continues to be set forth by those, like you, who want Energy balance, who want sustenance.
    The difference between the beast and the human is that the beast is more general in its intent. The human is usually less blended, usually less allowing of the Energy to flow, but is more specific. And that is why the human is seen to be the Creator while the beast is more the balancer of Energy.”
    – Abraham-Hicks

    • I suspect I am always adrift in time, too. Maybe lost, even. A waif. I have often said that I am looking for an anchor, if only to keep myself from becoming unmoored. Well―I don’t really know. Perhaps something that will always keep looking for me, someone who will always find me. Something I will always be drawn to, regardless of place and time.


      • See, this is exactly why I love TTTW:

        ““Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him.”
        – Clare, in TTTW, Audrey Niffinegger.

        I find it all about anchoring, being adrift, letting your life be bound by love.

  2. Re: friends and mirrors, I was echoing what Stephen Elliott wrote in his Daily Rumpus e-mail last July 1:

    “… There was a writer here on Saturday writing a book about love. She wanted to know why she had loved who she had loved and what it was she wanted from love. I’d had one conversation where I remember saying that you can’t know yourself without being known by someone else. The other person is a mirror, but their perception of you is not necessarily the truth. In other words, they are not the only mirror, only one truth. And in fact, you can get a closer shave feeling your cheek in the dark then in front of a bright vanity. Your fingers can see better than your eyes.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s