The Timeline of Stars and Bugs
Time is slippery, but that doesn’t stop us trying to lock it in our pocket. How long has the journey been to mark, grade and box it? Through the paths of the heavenly bodies, the curling shadow of a sundial, disappearing lines on a candle, the tock-tocking of a grandfather’s pendulum, the tick-ticking of a Lilliputian mechanism on a wrist. Each generation more precise, more infinitesimal decimal than it’s forebears about the our humble experience, a monkey’s moment in the sun.
And at the same time, slowly, surely drifting away from the point. Diluting the roughshod clarity of the moment, slipping away from earth’s magnificent stumble, spinning and falling through deep webs of space, in an endless orbit, a strangling gyre. You call out to a mütter ship, “Catch my fall!” But Nothing answers back in black, sticky silence. You realise your mistake, you misplaced a vowel. There is no mütter, just the matter at hand, dark matter, wading through it, hit upon hit, oblique, exchanging blows with the big black Nothing, till you’re blue in the face, breathless and transparent. And you collapse, sliding through space on an endless double helix. Sploosh, you return to the warm sea, the birthing pool of the past.
You awake with the waves washing you against the sand in a grainy rhythm dreamt up by the moon. And all around you mechanical lifeforms glow, buzz-giggling a clockwork corkscrew dance. They are busy, you are drunk on time, so you watch in silence as they spin in blissful ignorance of the magnitude of the universe they are at one with.