blue + grey

On my walk with the camera I had lost my cable release. The golden cemetery island in the air went unphotographed. At first, I was distressed not by my loss of cable per se, but of the cable as witness to one day two years ago in winter—the grey, mild, mistletoe-winter, a winter without abnormalities—when we wandered through the streets, thinking about ‘next year’ and ‘in two years’ and the ‘future’ in general and I bought it at a shop with used camera accessories, to replace a lost one. We both ran our fingers through the slack knot of cable releases, which lay in a basket, twisted into one another like half-hibernating, languid, fearless snakelets, and M. eventually pulled out this especially robust, light-grey coated one, which I took and used and now had lost. My distress over the cable falls under one of the potential curses of bereavement that I gradually became familiar with: weighting objects qua testimony. The attribution of participation in a moment past. A small piece of back-then, which should act as if it could moor the past tense onto the broken-off banks of the present. Idle lists of a forlornness that knows not what to do with itself.”

-Esther Kinsky
Grove

The truth is that there are two ways in which the future can become obsolete. One is through the inability to imagine the New: in this model, the idea of building a Tower never occurs to us; we are content to stay on the ground. The other happens when the New becomes so perpetual and unrelenting, when the construction of the Tower becomes so consuming, that we no longer have the luxury or the inclination to look up… You cannot have a future without a sense of the past, and there is no quicker way to make both obsolete than by insisting on the urgency and the singularity of the present.”

Meghan O’Gieblyn on deep time
and Long Now’s 10,000-year clock