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on mourning, temporality

Celeste's picture

"in mourning, one discovers horizons, banisters, firmaments, and foundations of life so taken for granted that they were mostly unknown until they were shaken. A mourning being also learns a new temporality...the future is unmoored from parts of the past, thus puncturing conceits of linearity with a different way of living time." (p. 100).

Change is inevitable.  A constant.  Everything moves.  Everything falters?  Or does it melt? 

Since coming to Bryn Mawr, I've spent a fair amount of time exploring my sense of time, and how I look at the past/present/future.  Having just finished a considerably 'constant' chapter of my life this past June (attending a small school, small graduating class, therefore many of the same faces for 13 years), I wish to find a framework to appreciate/reflect on the events of my past safely and without delaying my present.  Mourning people or events has accumulated more ambiguity--less sorrow, more contemplation--and has taking on a new temporality in my heart.  Once upon a time, mourning was a state of paralysis.  Now, a gnawing.  Towards the end of my time at my previous school (which I hated, mind you), I'd find myself saying things like "this is the last piss i'll take at moravian, the last triscuit i'll eat as a high school student...", until my present mind had dissapated into a shrine for the past.  Less "linearity", more of a jagged, blurry vision, more daydreaming.  In class, we emphasized Brown's lack of calling for "progress" or "foreward motion".  Some things can't change--we die. Why does Brown not acknowledge this?  It happens.  People love to crowd around and trumpet off sayings like "Don't live in the past, it's unhealthy...", but is it so necessary to place past/present/future in such a hierarchical system of importance?  Like Zadie Smith said in "Man vs. Corpse", nothing really cures the "it's not me/it will be me" anxiety.  And for the record, living in normative time frankly makes it worse.

Yet, yet, yet, I doubt grieving like that made Brown feeling any better about things...