Friday, 28 March 2014

Incomplete time

Tired of jet lag on a recent trip to Jakarta, I find myself wishing for my body to momentarily suspend its own duration and cohere with local time. My body insists that it is elsewhere, resistant to the temporal demands of present place, while being firmly located at a specific 'here'. Within this displacement, a clearing opens up, burdened by a sudden clarity: I am split between two places. 

Being split between two places means that the body is neither fully there, at the place we departed from, nor here, at the place we have arrived at. As a consequence, the place that we are currently in is experienced as a void, lacking the sturdiness of a place that the body has grown accustomed to. Prior to the body reinstating its habits onto place, the body, for a moment, has no hold of that place.

Unattached, the body that is in a state of transition nevertheless remains complete in terms of experience as the body that is committed to a given place. This commitment begins by the taking over of sleep. Sleep marks the end of displacement, as the body will soon enough adopt the rhythm of 'local time' and reconciles itself with the place it currently finds itself in. Once gathered, then dispersed, the body takes in what is inserted by place into it, keeping the traces of traveling that not so long ago was 'lived' so intensely, at bay.

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