Promised Land: an essay
An Absence in the Presence of Things
"...'Cause the world is turning, I don't want to see it turn away." Neil Young
Time allows us but one existence, and it falls somewhere between the past and the future. We require the space of our lives to begin to comprehend the depth and complexity of this. But the struggle to understand experience will not transform the indeterminacy of our lives, nor stop time. It can, however, transform our appreciation of our relationship to the world. And this uniquely human struggle has the potential to alter both our experience and our world.
The world is deciphered through our experience. It is through experience that we try to make sense of the beauty and brutality of things. We ascribe meaning and we assign importance to the objects and ideas we are attentive to at the moment. We create images or use language to render or name that part of experience we think we comprehend. But experience is limited: most local events are missed when our attention is drawn to specific details, or when we are lost in thought, or encumbered by diversions. One thing is certain-the things we hold most dear will change both physically and in our mind's eye. The notions we hold and the objects we value are transient. All things, whether we cherish them, despise them or are indifferent to them, wll be lost. Physical contours will erode and memories will evolve and transform until they are no more. The objects we have created and used, the ideas we have formulated and made manifest through language, will become the traces-the artifacts-of our experience, left only for others to decipher.