{Palimpsest}

What, then, if it is true.

What, then, if it is true that we live in this world.

What then, if it is true that we live in this world and this world is the best of all possible worlds.

What then, if it is true that we live in this world and this world is the best of all possible worlds but not the only possible world merely the best of all possible worlds right now made by us for us because every possible world is the best of all possible worlds at that moment in that place in that configuration; there are

an infinite number of infinities so there must be an infinite number of dimensions and an infinite number of potentialities.

What then if we were all of them at any given time.

What then if we were to learn to experience life like that.

What then if we were to learn to experience life like that and sense that we are everything we can imagine to be and everything we can’t imagine to be and that therefore everything is exactly as it should be if we will it so.

What though if we were to fail ourselves in our entirety and simply not realise our potential.

What though if we were to fail ourselves in our entirety and simply not realise our potential.

What though if we were to fail ourselves in our entirety and simply not realise our potential but know that that’s what we were doing and know that doing this was unnecessary:

What then if we were to know that we are able to realise our potential

What then if we were to know that we are able to realise our potential, at least part of our potential —

What then if we were to realise at least more of the potentiality than hitherto we had known about – what if we were to know this and act upon it; what if we were to know this and act upon it, then what would we do? What if we were to know this and act upon it: then what would we do?

What, then, if we were to know that we can realise our potential, and act upon it.

What would we do.

(I ache for my mind to expand. Not expand just a little to know a thing or two more, I ache for my mind to expand to the dimensions it can not yet comprehend through the layers it can not yet penetrate, beyond the colours on the spectrum to the prisms the frequencies to the scales it isn’t capable yet of taking in. I long, I long for it to make sense, in a way: a different kind of sense, a sense that I had never known could be made.

I yearn to absorb and be

absorbed.

I long, I

long

to)

exist

{Contentment}

If everything were perfect, as it is, how much would we crave disturbance? The variants that made matter congeal. The idiom that expresses just what needs to be said. The waves within waveforms that ripple through time. There are connections that never make sense but they make me feel that I am a part of something. No-one knows what. The friend of my nephew’s who is so gentle, so unassuming and yet so lovely. His exquisite taste. His mild and agreeable manner. His beautiful face. His warm and unfussy friendship. His ease that isn’t untroubled but that knows how to hold on to the core. His generous smile. His diligent gestures as he cooks us a meal that tastes like a dish for the gods. The faintly-haired legs that end in two so shapely feet. I could be here. This presence is one I could glow in forever. I’m sure. Will ever I be able to find this and know I have found it? 

The Sedartis Effect

Sedartis is full of little insights which are borderline annoying. They are annoying, because they are obvious and it’s possible only to be borderline annoyed with them, because they are obviously true. They are the kind of insights that make you wonder: why has nobody pointed this out to me, say, in year eleven.

Since joining me, unbidden, uninvited, and taking up quasi-permanent residence by my side, he has been doing this at irregular intervals, which, on account of their irregularity, at least retain a mild element of surprise.

‘The reason time passes faster as you get older, relentlessly, is very simple,’ he tells me. I did not ask him about this, I was just looking out of the window of yet another moving train, this time to Dorset.

‘I imagine it is,’ I say, having for some time felt I had my own plausible theory about this. ‘At the age of one, one year is a hundred percent of your lifetime. That makes it really long. So long that you can’t fathom its duration.’

I’m not sure that I can fathom it now, but, for different reasons…

‘By the age of ten, that same year is now only a tenth of your lifetime. In absolute terms, it may be as long as any other year, but you don’t experience life in absolute terms: you experience life in relative terms, always: relative entirely to you. Your year is now just ten percent of your body of experience. By the age of fifty, one year has shrunk to a fiftieth of your lifetime: if somebody offered you a fiftieth part of a pie you’d barely think it worth eating. But it’s still a year, and it’s still a slice of your life. And aged a hundred, your year now hardly registers at all. You may well lose track and forget how old you are: was it a hundred and two or a hundred and three years ago now that you were born? Does it matter?’

‘This all makes perfect sense to me,’ I say to Sedartis, which it does, but: ‘why are you telling me? Now?’

‘Because you’re obviously at that point in your life when your perception of time reaches a tipping point: your life expectancy nowadays isn’t quite, but may soon be, about a hundred years, so around now, as you’re halfway through more-or-less century of yours, your feeling of losing your grip on time will accelerate, and because you’re now no longer moving away from your birth but towards your death, you will find this more and more disconcerting.’

‘What, more disconcerting than I find it already?’

‘Of course. But think not for one moment that you’d be happier if you lived longer.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘Because: if you were to get to the point, say, where you habitually had an active consciousness lifespan of ten thousand years, it would not feel that much longer: as you’d get towards the last millennium, each year would only be between nine and one ten thousandths of our lifetime. That is about the same as three days are for you today. You would not experience a hundred times more than you do today, you would simply stretch your living out over a period a hundred times longer. And nor should that surprise you: when your life expectancy was thirty years or so, people did not generally think, our lives are so short; they simply did all their living inside those thirty years. No-one would argue that Alexander the Great, for example, or Mozart, didn’t really get enough living done in the thirty-odd years of their lives.’

‘No,’ I say, thinking, a tad wistfully, of Tom Lehrer, ‘that, I’m sure, no-one could argue.’

‘It is, in a not entirely obvious way, not unlike the Doppler Effect: the sound waves coming towards you are compressed so they appear to your ears higher than they do once the source of the sound has passed: now the waves are getting stretched and so the pitch seems to drop. Of course, time is no wave and the comparison is clumsy at best and misleading at worst, but if nothing else it’s another example of how your reality is shaped entirely by your experience of it. You may, if you like, refer to the relative experience of time as the Sedartis Effect, I shan’t hold it against you if you will.’


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{Meander}

The strident thrust of a century recently launched and with great fanfare too. Millennium. Nobody talks about that, no more. A comma makes all the difference. There are aeroplanes flying overhead there are cars on the road there are people in the street about town. Forward motion, always. It likes me not; not always, not now. I long to ease. Not from now on, just for right now. Much needs doing but it’s good to do nothing, once in a while; just to float. Relent to slow the flow of time. Be. Not go anywhere. At all. Except you always do, don’t you. You can sit in a spot for eternity and when eternity is over you will have moved. Away from the centre, around the star, on your planet’s axis, many times. I said it was disconcerting too, but comforting, nonetheless. And it is. Then a kiss.