I am struck by the momentum of things, of ideas, of memories, of people, of places. The shape and weight and rotation that they have. The movement they make. There are forces at play for both tangible and intangible things, which define their motion and shape. Importantly, those forces can be tangible or intangible in juxtaposition to their roots, i.e. a sculpture being a tangible force at play in respect to an intangible emotion or a communal desire for a band to come out with a new album being an intangible force in respect to the tangible group of musicians. I only go into detail there to flesh out the idea that this little flow of conscience is about a truly fluid idea.
When I write of something’s momentum, I can never know all of the forces at work, though physicists are working tirelessly on changing that, and, thus, I can only try to capture as many of the factors at play as I recognize or even think of. I kind of like the idea that the reality and momentum of something like a tree is as much predicated on the forces at play in that ecosystem as it is on the current scientific understanding of that species of tree or on the way a mother bird experiences less stress when she is on her nest in that tree as compared to off it and watching from afar as she gathers food for her young.
That tree is here for a moment in the history of things and every connection is has to everything else while it is here is a part of it’s momentum. A part of it’s story.
I am struck by the momentum of things as I travel this country and this world, as I cruise reddit getting my content fix, as I watch my friends change over the years and meet new people, and as I watch myself do it all. I feel more and more that the realities that exist in our heads are closer to what is actually true than anything that we see around us is. Or, at least, what is in our heads is a much larger part of what we see around us than we give it credit for. I think that is true. For instance, everything we see, first of all is technically in the past but let’s not go there now, is processed by our brains and painted with countless layers of perception and memory and contextualizations in the same instance that we realize what we are seeing and comprehend it. Looking at that car over there is not some pure undiluted experience; it is an experience painted by every other car I have ever seen and thought of and, really, of every other car that everyone else has ever seen as it was the communal idea of the car that inspired that design team to even shape that car in that fashion.
Where does that leave us? Well, I guess I am trying to say that that car over there is as much the physical combination of those pieces of metal and rubber as it is the combination of our ideas and concepts of cars and, well, metal and rubber. I mean this in a very real sense.
I know I am just headed down the old platonic ideal/form road so I will digress. I more mean to be getting at the idea that the momentum of each thing/person/place/whatever is a force shaped by both tangible and intangible things and that everything has a momentum.
As I get a handle on what life outside of the structure of school and certain responsibilities looks like I find that I am having a hard time putting it in context. I do not necessarily have a way to mark the passage of time anymore, which is no doubt partially due the fact that I eschew the usual rhythms and patterns of the life and culture that I grew up in, but also seems to maybe be due to the idea that I am brushing up against the limits of the construct of time. It is just an idea; just one way of looking at things. I am also finding that it does not suit me especially well as being the main way that I look at things as I find existence to be more fluid and lateral than it allows for. So, in the search for marking change and separating one experience from another I trend off in other directions.
Momentum, for instance. The path that things take through the universe and the forces at play that keep them ebbing and flowing. Lately, I think that I have been looking towards a better understanding of the aforementioned as a means of interpreting what I see around me and experience and think of and remember. It seems to jibe better with the way I see and experience things and understand them these past few years.
Now, for the moth…