The future in the present

July 11, 2006

Ouroboros.jpgBeing an early riser, these days 4:30 am, I am sensitive to exactly when the sun comes up, and the lengths of the days. This morning, I sensed the days getting shorter, even though we are just in July. I find that I smell autumn from time to time in the summer. In the autumn, I feel an occasional threat of winter. In winter, especially when I lived in Wisconsin, I would smell the West during the January thaw, and this meant spring was not too far away. And then there are those spring days where you think it’s summer.

I find that this process is one that works in music, and specifically in musical transitions from one section to another. A composer will plant little musical seeds hinting about the upcoming section, but not giving it away. The upcoming season/section teases us in the present season/section. The mixture of being in the current season and feeling the upcoming one is like straddling two realities. A marvelous tickle.

(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’)

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.


T.S. Eliot


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