This seems like an appropriate time to write this week’s blog post on time/space and history– I guess I fell asleep at a weirdly early hour and ended up waking up at 3 AM. It feels kind of wrong to be hanging around, doing things, having coherent thoughts at 3 in the morning without the lingering guilt from staying up until 3 intentionally or the utter dread of waking up at 3 to catch a flight or something. I’m up right now, and I am not tired, and I will not be tired tomorrow, and soon I will tire and sleep again but there will still have been this odd little bubble of awake at this usually very asleep time. The understanding of 3 AM is a human name for an event during which one should be in bed and dreaming. I play along with that normally because it helps me function in society, but there is nothing inherently bed-y or dreaming-y about 3 in the morning so of course it is just as weird for me to wake up at 9 AM as 3 AM. The perception of higher weirdness is a human construction.
History was on my mind as well this week as I finished reading a biography of Jack Kerouac. He’s an interesting man because he very violently became a product of his surroundings. All people are such products, but I find myself feeling that there is more to Jack’s subjectivity. And, as this particularly biography addressed a few times, there are differences in the “factual” history of his life. He lived from the twenties to the sixties, and he wrote slews of journals documenting almost every day of his life, but still we cannot be sure what exactly happened. It seems miraculous, then, that we could ever trust world history to be unaltered truth when such a perfect candidate for accurate remembering has proven to be so mystifying. It brings me back to my favourite notion of the week– that just as we do not, cannot, fully experience and understand the present, we cannot, and do not, fully experience and understand the past.