Thursday, 28 May 2015

time and distance

I often stand still when somewhere completely quiet and try to imagine the mayhem of, say, Oxford Street on a day leading up to Christmas. Or inversely stand still on Oxford Street - causing ardent shoppers to push past with a brief look back: mad, obviously - and try to imagine a placid and empty hill in, say, the foothills of the Pyrenees.
It seems almost impossible that these places exist when you're not actually there. Then I start thinking about members of my family and friends - what are they doing at this precise moment when I am standing gawping at a blossom-loaded tree? sorting out the cupboard under the stairs? eating a cheese sandwich? sitting with a cup of coffee and wondering what their family and friends might be doing?
Then I might start thinking about The Big Question, or one of the big questions, - what is Space exactly; what is beyond our solar system and where does it end? But it can't end; what is holding it all in place and is space a series of giant boxes or spheres; a vast set of Russian dolls - probably not best to think about it at all.
Anyway . . . I happened to notice a number of planes passing over our patch of The Earth this morning; more than usual in fact. I stood for quite a long time considering the fact that unlike the Oxford St/Pyrenees thing I could see the plane at such a huge distance, and, people on board, eating peanuts, drinking tea or trying to ignore the child kicking the seat behind them, could look out and see, not me, probably, but certainly our house.
I always spend any flight with nose pressed to the oval window looking out on the passing millions of dwellings wondering if people are looking up and thinking about who might be on board and what they might be reading/eating/ drinking. Air to land psychogeography? or just nosiness on a grand scale. Anyway, again, time to put the kettle on and stop avoiding jobs to be done.

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