Thursday, October 06, 2016

Time Dilation

Impermanence works both ways.  What I recently thought of as "new" music was being played as background music at the supermarket. But on the other hand, what I thought was an "oldie" playing on t.v. was actually a relatively new song.

HBO is promoting a new show featuring Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker, and their promo spots feature a song I recognized but couldn't immediately place.  Since it sounded so familiar, I thought that I must have heard it years and years ago, like maybe back in the 80s.  Could be Marshall Crenshaw, I don't know.  But it turns out to have been a song from the 2013 album On Oni Pond by the experimental Philadelphia band Man Man, who we saw at the 2014 Shaky Knees Festival here in Atlanta.

Coincidentally, the video for the song consists of nostalgic film clips, so somebody else obviously got an oldies vibe off of the song as well.

What was once new becomes old, and what's old is new again.  But that doesn't explain these recent experiences.  It's hard to describe, but one thing I've noticed about growing older is an effect I call "time dilation." I now have memories that are 10, 20, 30, even 40 years old, but that still seem as fresh in my mind as memories of last year, so on one level, 1975 seems as recent and relevant to me as 1995 or 2015.

I no longer feel constrained by the so-called consensus "present," but instead my "present" has expanded, dilated if you will, to include not just days, weeks, and months, but whole decades. I can keep the decades straight in my mind, and I'm well aware that Sex and the City is no longer on the air or that name dropping the show is not considered a hip reference this day and age, but I can still enjoy (and I do mean enjoy) a much larger sense of "the present" than the ephemeral "present" of my younger self. 

I'm present in all time, past and current, and while it's always the eternal "now," that "now" has gotten a whole lot larger over the years.  

1 comment:

Jeff Albrizze said...

Hey Shokai,

As an old zen geezer (56 years old) with about 28 years of practice behind me, I concur with your experience. You put something into words that I have experienced, but could not quite wrap my brain around. Thanks for the dharma. Keep up the good fight!