Monday, June 16, 2014

Time Zones, Time Travel, and a Surprise.

For some years, you've alternatively seen, considered, and obsessed on the similarities between the writer, the photographer, the musician, the actor, and the dancer.  

During those years, you'd only to consider the kinship before you achieved the same state as when your mother found you, as she put it, "one sock on, one sock off, sitting on the side of the bed, staring off into the something."  Your shoes lay in wait for you, your breakfast awaited you, the potential for your day waiting to unscroll before you, once you got on your other sock, then got into your shoes.

The common denominator you see among those craftspersons is time.  Of course the photographer is reliant on light, but the result the photographer desires depends on the amount of time the shutter is open, allowing light to come through the lens in the process of registering an image.  

If all notes were of the same duration, music would sound more like a junior high school band than a vast cornucopia of tones.  If the actor were to deliver all her lines at the same pace and intensity, the results would be unbearable.  And what dancer would willingly surrender the qualities of timing that enhance her fluidity and presence?

Such thoughts send you into the "one sock on, one sock off" state, which, by its distinctive and reflective nature, is influenced by time, if for no other reason than to seem to suspend time.  Small wonder, or no wonder at all, that in such suspended states, you were drawn into long reflections about the similarities among actors and writers for approaching their craft.  

Metaphor helps here, because metaphor helps us see a thing by reminding us of the similarity between the thing we wish to describe and something else that may have no relation to it at all.

Think then of the actor and writer being roommates, sharing a house.  They use identical keys to enter the house, wherein the writer writes and the actor investigates the roles to be played.  Each is not only using an actual key to enter the metaphorical shared house, each is also using a metaphorical key to open the mysteries of story.

The potential for metaphor continues when you consider how the writer and the actor are separated from their own selves, transported into the otherness of invented beings, the characters.  Writers may do such things in non-writing time as playing pick-up baseball games with other writers.  Actors may take time off by writing or painting or running long distances, taking time from being in another dimension to be in the present moment.

Individuals who create and/or inhabit other places, other states of being, and,if the work in question happens to be historical, other eras, are as used to different time zones as the transcontinental traveler is used to them.  The difference is the simple one of time travel being a near default state of the actor and writer.  

Whether you are writing or performing in something that takes place on, say, the sixteenth of June, 2014, you are nevertheless entering d different time zone because the story is set in a place that has its own agenda, where you are, in effect, "one sock on, and one sock off."

You are firm in your belief that the entire species is used to travel in all the available time zones, past, distant past, present moment, and future.  On numerous occasions, you've made the metaphor of being in an auto, the immediate present being what is directly in front of you, through the windshield.  The past is accessible through the rear view mirror.  You've even thrown in the side-view mirrors as distractions.  To emphasize the strength of the metaphor, you've even asked a most rhetorical question, "Who among us remains entirely in the present for any significant length of time without some reminder of an event from the past, a future engagement, or a lateral distraction?"

Such temporal ventures, travels in and beyond your own time frame, often leave you with a dizzying sense of pleasure at having recognized some aspects of your behavior within the ongoing enormity of Reality and of Being.  You've actually experimented with considering such time travels at times when you were not at your higher levels of existential comfort.  

The experiment was a success.  With it came the recognition that such moments are apt to be your moments of greatest possible control, moments where, if you look carefully both ways before crossing the street, or indeed of driving through an intersection, you have attained maximum potential for getting to the other side unscathed.

During moments within this particular time zone, this suspended time zone, you realized you'd forgotten to add one other similar occupation to your list.  The archaeologist digs through layers of past time, looking for artifacts, clues, traces, hints of what it was like to have lived there, then.

Archaeologist works.  It works so well, you can hear your mother, calling you across the years, urging you to get your other sock on, then your shoes, then come to your breakfast.

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