What dreams may come ::
A very brief thought on Time : Upanshu
The possibility of perfect recall, of recounting memories exactly as the events went down, is an implausible thought for beings that are fundamentally subjective in their cognitive input.
Yet, there is a tendency within all of us to persevere for the truth. It is a flaw, all too human, that enables us to perceive time not as a sequence of passing events, no matter what our understanding of history, but as an emotional response: a stimulus stored as memory, a narrative filled with tales of triumphs and regrets, a body that during its hours of repose struggles to comprehend the dialectic of joy and pain which the soul is heir to.
As something that becomes an emotional response, time is easily forgotten, to be felt only as discrete packets of memories and not as an eternal continuum of only present, a singularity that Eliot disdainfully dismisses as ‘irredeemable’. Eliot for all his faults, is a very dialectical poet- no doubt an influence of F.H. Bradley. Yet, he falls into the abyss of this all too Bergsonian continuum, which Bachelard counters with the phenomenon of repose that enables the mind to contemplate memories and to build narratives centred around the dichotomous paradigm of regrets and triumphs.
Yet, the tone of the beginning lines of Burnt Norton is not entirely Bergsonian. There is a possibility of hope in the hopelessness of ‘If all time is eternally present/ All time is irredeemable.’ It lies at the very core of the hopelessness evoked here. The search for hope in an eternal continuum plagues the poet as time becomes incommensurable with feeling- as memories veer away from history.
Here lies the problem of human condition itself: can time be felt? If not then why is it that memories haunt us in unrecognisable nightmares- in night terrors that make us pause, fill us with regrets of all that could not be.
[ Upanshu is a Poet.
He can be contacted at email@example.com ;
The featured painting is called ‘Remembrance of a Garden’ by Paul Klee.]