Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cherry Trees When

I am interested in a thing, and that thing is the junction between the historical and the non-historical. The historical is the past and the non-historical is the present. Perhaps the future also is the non-historical. I couldn't say, as I know only the present.

What brings this topic to the surface of reflection is the cherry tree, or cherry trees, blossoming. Cherry trees are blossoming here and now, which does not interest me as much as the thought that people are inclined to look forward to cherry trees blossoming. I along with others anticipate as I look forward to this blossoming, with a firm awareness of what I anticipate as some then-present moment when the cherry trees blossom. Incredibly, the blossoming of the cherry trees wil and does occur, or does not change, and as such is a fixed occurrence, though the experience is of such particuar complexity it rivals any given musical performance, note for note, nuance for nuance.

How it is that we recollect, anticipate and experience the blossoming of cherry trees is not easily explained I think, but it is interesting to me, and stands hovers about in my mnd as representative of the junction between the historical and non-historical. This junction I pose to myself in simplistic terminology, something like, "How can something be and then have been," or "What is the past," or "What was the past like." Now, I may be thinking, as others do, of ancient Rome, or the battle of Gettysburg, or pioneer life - or, it may be of a matter of a moment ten minutes past. For I find that even the recent past seems impossible to me to calculate or recapture, so removed it is by having crossed this divide, the junction, as I perceive or refer to it, between the non-historical and the historical.

So far so good. Yes, but think what this means. After all, we know the present is for all intents and purposes impossible to capture, and the future is nothing other than the universe of the possible admixed with the inconceivable, and so - tell me, what is reality? Even as we read a familiar book the associations drawn from the words at the top of the page are flailing about, fading or blossoming as may be in our minds, while other words are captured and released in turn.

In short, from this perspective, reality seems a small thing to study or concern oneself with. Fleeting and in flux, unknowable, impermanent, a glimpse of a thing - like looking out an office window where a body just now flashes by.