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Urgent! (Oliver’s Aberrations of Time and Movement)

Last night and into this morning I read an essay entitled “Speed, aberrations of time and movement” from the notebooks of neurologist Oliver Sachs, as featured in the recent August 23 issue of The New Yorker.

It is a fascinating and utterly absorbing article about the deviance and disorder of reality as perceived while the preceptor is suspended in an altered state. Ultra athletes, death-defying stuntmen, addicts and experimenters, and those subject to neural dysfunctioning often all experience a phenomena which either creases or stretches the rate of reality in a way that a day passes in a flash and a moment seems to last only slightly longer than forever. Most other humans will experience something similar either vicariously or for themselves through the cinematic experience, the taking of hallucinatory and time-altering drugs, the occasional epileptic seizure, and most often, simply via dreams.

Sach’s piece is incredibly well written and beautifully conveys the power of the word and how it serves as a magical means of understanding what is both idiosyncratic and universal. It also keenly expresses the charming alchemy and enchanting synchronicity conjured when empirical science and artful writing blend to describe the wonder of common human experience. This is when one finds herself nodding and smiling in affirmation, and “Wow” not only professes in awe of the succinct aesthetic, but also is an understatement that belies the beauty of how words can bring what was existential for the writer, back to life, in real-time, for the reader.

To illustrate his point Sachs employs excerpts from H.G. Wells novels that are exemplars of why we must read the book, as well as watch the movie. For each of these offers a unique conduit into a segment of time and space that cannot be likewise experienced, and thus perceived, whilst traveling via the other.

Thus, half way through Sach’s musing I realized “this is why I write.” So that I might similarly delight others with the conveyance of reality that I often perceive in a languid time-frame, one which allows my brain to register much more than others are typically ever aware of.

This insight in turn begged to respond to a question I was recently asked: “So is an incredible description of a samosa better than a samosa?”

I know now that the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

For via the beguile of the in-depth and chatoyant description, I am able to pass onto others what was once merely my private pleasure and existential privy. Through the philter of words I am able to impart and preserve part of my life as it is, was and will be now and for eternity, for posterity and the visceral enjoyment of others.

Writers, artists, and other creative aesthetes alike are often blessed with extrasensory perceptions that allow them to manifest enduring opportunities for others to appreciate what is otherwise fleeting. Through their art they provide the beguiling details that are otherwise lost when the net of the common mind sweeps willy-nilly across the see of perception.

Oliver’s observations were likewise enthralling. Their extolled accuracy of what is existential, along with the pique in to what is potential, moved me with a mad avarice to know more about the mind, as well as left me with an aching desire to recreate life itself on paper.

Sach’s point of view is both enhanced by and limited to the physiological underpinnings that either speed up or slow down time. One of the key factors which I recently and continually find sways the pendulum one way or the other—is the law of expectations.

When one expects little to nothing, the consequences of another’s inaction tends to be irrelevant and relationships are allowed to blossom organically.

However, when one imposes the vigor underlying the pursuit of the ideal other, if the prospective lover does not share accordingly, then he or she often face the death sentence of failing expectations. They are cut short because the judge of appeals has a set statute of limitations in mind and will find the defendant guilty as charged with not keeping up with the pace chartered by the elusive goal—to find that certain someone who can stop time before time runs out.

With the internal clock ticking as fast as the smitten heart flutters, many a maturing woman find herself at the impasse between fate and indecision. Men on the other hand offer no recourse as their own self-interests are not beholden to any looming deadline, and are inclined to pull her apart as they please, yanking one way while her changing body and lonely soul, pull her another.

This is why women stuck at this juncture can’t just “wait and see what happens,” or are often not as enthusiastic about “living only for the moment” as men verging on middle-age are. Love simply does not work that way when being taken along by the ticking and talking time machine that drives life forward.

And so once again, we see through the soap opera of the disparate and the desperate why in the end, as well as here and now, time and love are truly relative.

But I’m not looking for a love that will last
I know what I need and I need it fast
Yeah, there’s one thing in common that we both share
That’s a need for each other anytime, anywhere

It gets so urgent
So urgent
You know it’s urgent
I want to tell you it’s the same for me
So, oh, oh, urgent
Just you wait and see
How urgent our love can be
It’s urgent

~ Urgent, Foreigner

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