Sunday, March 19, 2017

Time will tell

A few hours, a day, a week — they feel to me like ancient history. And yet you act as if I’m sitting here, as if my comings and goings are easily measured by the growing absence of footsteps or graying of hair, and that these are irrefutable declarations of time. I do hear the clock ticking, but the sound emanates not from its temporary place on the wall, it comes from my great-grandmother’s kitchen, where it hung ninety-years ago. These are my mother’s ears, not just my own. And if they are hers, they are also her grandmother’s, and if they are her grandmother’s, they are listening from a childhood in Sweden. No wonder we are moved. I say you act, but it’s a convincing performance that gives flesh to my bones and bones to my dreams, which are the frame and the dress of myriad intangible things. And it makes me think that perhaps I’m acting too. Because I can almost feel the pull of the strings. Up goes one eyebrow, down the grim jaw, back the shoulders, the neck turns, the head revolves — but the words? What gossamer holds them, what tentative illusion of light? You say you don’t know. You say time will tell. I say, sure it will.

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