Flow 3 Time
We talk of the flow of time. Commonsense tells us that time flows in one direction ... from then, through now until who knows what and when? But contemporary (sic) science and philosophy have shaken our sense of this simple order. Time has lost its sense of direction. Then we discover that in other times and places there have been other assumptions. Cycle and circles of time, no beginnings, no endings. In the global culture of a perpetual present, infected by a pessimism about the future, the modernist illusion of the march of progress has been shattered.
I find myself thinking of time as a series of layers, like geophysical strata, evoking memories that are somehow still alive. It is not a matter of spirits and ghosts but of evidence that stares me in the face. I come across a gravestone carved centuries ago that contains evidence of an equatorial ocean from 300 millions years ago, compressed by time into solid material. Yet, in this moment, the solid stone is being gradually eaten by lifeforms that will consume it within a few more centuries. The elegant text on the gravestone still talks of a woman who lived ten generations ago, yet all reference to the husband who was buried alongside her has now crumbled away.