Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I Was Here Last Night..



What is it that time means to us?
Is it the fourth dimension, another measurement to be plugged into the equations alongside length and depth and breadth?
Is it unknowable, a mirage, an illusion caused by being incarnate?
Is it one -dimensional, or two, or more?
Is it, as some hold, another country?

Perhaps all of these, and none of them, and more than these.

For me, time is inextricably attached to location: time is a part of the landscape, and the environment is composed of both location and time, entwined together.

Last night I was, as I have often been before, in Wokingham. It was 1972, quite clearly – for here was my Mum, bending to inspect the front lawn in Arthur Road, as if there were something precious buried beneath the grass. I wonder what it was? And here, on down the road a bit, was myself walking towards me, in bright orange dungarees and a lime green shirt. Alison Cole walking beside me. I did not see my 39-year-older self at all.

Singing in close harmony with my brother Grant, we hiked to Meadow Road – past the Sproul's house and the home of Keith Saynor, up on the rise, and down the other side to the meadow itself, where we stopped, and gathered all – all from 1972 and all from 2011, aware and unaware of each other, the living and the dead, the dreaming and the unconscious.

In the past, these dreams of my former home have produced an acute bout of homesickness, longing and nostalgia in me. But today, there is only a sweetness. A knowledge that this country, composed of both location and time, can never leave me. It is here as much today as it was then. In the breasting of time we find some questions, but more gnosis – a knowing that past is not the same as gone, and yesterday is not equivalent to lost from experience. We can travel there whenever we have leave from our souls.


Pic: Meadow Road, Wokingham, from today's Google Streetview.