Check the Clock. Check the Calendar. And Take a Breath.

Photo by 'orchidgalore,' on Flickr

[Photo by user orchidgalore, on Flickr. (Click to enlarge, but it’s a large image — over 3MB.) It took me a beat to realize what I was looking at: I thought it was a real-world recreation of one of Dali’s “melting watches” paintings. (Used here under a Creative Commons license.)]

From whiskey river:

No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you are nine, you think you’ve always been nine years old and will always be. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You’re in the present, you’re trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen. You’re only you, here, now — the present you.

(Ray Bradbury [source])

…and (same whiskey river post):

You who walk the earth know only the moment, which is whisked away with your next exhalation.

(Ray Bradbury [source])

and:

Exercise

First forget what time it is
for an hour
do it regularly every day

then forget what day of the week it is
do this regularly for a week
then forget what country you are in
and practice doing it in company
for a week
then do them together
for a week
with as few breaks as possible

follow these by forgetting how to add
or to subtract
it makes no difference
you can change them around
after a week
both will help you later
to forget how to count

forget how to count
starting with your own age
starting with how to count backward
starting with even numbers
starting with Roman numerals
starting with fractions of Roman numerals
starting with the old calendar
going on to the old alphabet
going on to the alphabet
until everything is continuous again

go on to forgetting elements
starting with water
proceeding to earth
rising in fire

forget fire

(W. S. Merwinn [source])

and:

I cannot shake time off me. He squats continually before my tree. Everything that has been in my life is always with me, simultaneously, and the events refuse to stand nicely one after the other in a row. They hook into each other, shift around, scatter, force themselves on me or try to slip out of my memory. I have difficulty with them in the necklace of my memory. I am not a carefree little herder of time at all. Day and night pass. Summer and winter, another summer, and here is winter again. This is easy, but not the time that has made of me what I am and that lives within me with another rhythm.

(Wilma Stockenström [source])

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Take a Good Look

Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs, in a publicity still for Kovacs's show 'Take a Good Look'

[Image: Publicity still featuring Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs for the latter’s comedy game show, Take a Good Look. (Adams was a regular panelist.) For more information, see the note at the foot of this post.]

From whiskey river:

The moon shines on the river,
the wind blows through the pines —
whose providence is this long beautiful evening?

(Yongjia Xuanjue)

and:

Speak, memory, that I may not forget the taste of roses, nor the sound of ashes in the wind; That I may once more taste the green cup of the sea.

(Daubmir Nadir)

and:

Start with a blank surface. It doesn’t have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can’t remember.

(Stephen King [source])

and:

You think when you wake up in the morning yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothing else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I don’t know what all. Start over. And then one morning you wake up and look at the ceiling and guess who’s laying there?

(Cormac McCarthy)

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