Saturday, April 25, 2015

'Uvatiarru': Past and future all around us

Authors on the past, present and future.

Charles Rowan Beye:

One wants to sort out the details of the past, but often it is like going through yesterday’s wardrobe, surprised by the irremediable damage and wastage of so much lying in those drawers next to undeniable treasures. It is not what one had expected.

Douwe Draaisma:

Thinking back about an event that has made a great impression on us, we tend to underestimate the time interval separating us from that event. Such illusions have their counterparts in psychiatry. Traumatic events are repeated in flashbacks, memories that penetrate the psychological present and that cannot be removed from it at will.

Rainer Maria Rilke:

The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.

Carl Honoré:

In some philosophical traditions – Chinese, Hindu and Buddhist, to name three – time is cyclical. On Canada's Baffin Island, the Inuit use the same word – uvatiarru – to mean both "in the distant past" and "in the distant future." Time, in such cultures, is always coming as well as going. It is constantly around us, renewing itself, like the air we breathe.

Sources

Charles Rowan Beye. My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. [Kindle Edition] p. 4.

Douwe Draaisma. Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes Our Past. (2001) Translated by Arnold and Erica Pomerans in 2004. Cambridge University Press, 2005. p 205.

Rainer Maria Rilke. Quoted in Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox, Your Mythic Journey: Finding Meaning in Your Life Through Writing and Storytelling. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989. p. 74. (This is a revised version of Telling Your Story, originally published 1973.)

Carl Honoré. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. p. 29.

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