Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Timelessness to Inscription: From Timelessness to Inspiration


And by timelessness, I am not talking about having to hear your kids whine, which feels like it takes forever! Or waiting for that cop to return from his car after pulling you over.  Or even the painful commute that is held up by stand still traffic.

The timelessness I speak of is like one door of many doors leading to a place where you forget time passes.  Very much like the wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia.  This timelessness, this brush with experiences past our human limits beyond words, will propel a person to have potent inspiration.

There are all sorts of obstacles to carving in timeless activities into your day.  It may be staying up too late or getting up too early.  It could be sinking 40 hours a week into 1 job title or locking yourself into 1 location for 40 hours a week.  Excessive travel could essentially do the same, but it is up to us to figure out our own balance.  We need to identify what triggers us to slip into moments where we forget where we are and what time it is.

In an effort to be a bit more timeless, I've lined up a quote conga line from authors living in my lifetime and before it as well.

The Timeless Door of Nature

"Nature is a timeless source and inspiration for the creation of the beautiful by the human species."

Bear with this hippie thought a bit.  Consider a tree that is much taller than any human could ever be and having it span many human lifetimes while only providing a healthy and safe habitat for humans and animals is quite a feat.  You really feel it in your lungs when you roam about the dense Green Mountain forests in Vermont or the mossy garlands on the Pacific trees in Washington's Hoh Forest.  Where one deep breath feels like a weeks worth of air.  Every sense is engaged from the branches snapping beneath shoes to the sounds of the wild life and the sights of sunlight brightening the hues in the acres of old growth.  This sensory overload is a great way to escape.

Time-Stopping Relationships


"Personal relationships can have something of this timeless quality too.  Although they involve a series of encounters, a relationship does no consist only of these:  it continues between the encounters, in the thoughts and feelings of the people involved.  Intense relationships contain the experience of time standing still when the participants are together, and while the relationship continues there is often a sense that it will go on forever: not necessarily a belief that it will go on forever, but a suspension of the sense of the relationship as a mortal."


Timeless Literary Islands

"Can poetry provide places that are stopping off stations, spots of refuge where history goes on around you with a sense of your being apart from it as well as a part of it?  And do these places of the imagination prefigure a timeless place that awaits us?"

Don't get me wrong.  There's lots of poetry I don't jive with.  Yet, the Journal and Poetry subscriptions still arrive in small poetic booklets and rest in my mailbox.  I hope to continue to find those poets who can catch me off guard in just the right way to detach me from where I am.

I'm a slow reader with a shameful attention span, so often times spoken word is more effective.  I've attended poetry slams overflowing with talent  (and Frank Zappa references) then I hear into a poem I don't get.  Only to hear a friend explain what the poem meant to them and the obscure words are unlocked.

Timeless Spaces

"For it is not only true that every building gets its structure from the language which people use.  It is also true that the spirit which the buildings have, their power, their life, comes from the pattern languages their builders use as well.  The beauty of the great cathedrals, the fire in the windows, the touching grace of ornaments, the carving of the columns and the column captials, the great silence of the empty space which forms the heart of the cathedral... all these come from the pattern languages their builders use as well."

This quote from professor Christopher Alexander who was tasked with taking the humdrum campus at the University of Oregon and making the college a living space.  Sets of buildings were tailor made for student use.  Hours upon hours where spent watching how students passed through the campus and this book reveals a bit more of the philosophy of architecture and even the end game of any artistic endeavor.

All these are doors to places that open our mind.  The limitations we've placed on ourselves and others disappear and we stand before the work, the person, the piece.  The longer we are exposed to these timeless Chernobyl creations the more we alter our own perspectives and permanently leave behind our old selves.

There is so much competing for our own time.  Lock us into scattered news on the darker/distant lives from places we may never go and in ways out of our control.

We need to make space in our lives for more timelessness.  To make greater works helping people connect to each other.  And also to be connected and see others make timeless escapes out of thin air.

Sources:

Timeless Beauty: In the arts and Everyday Life by John Lane
Food For Thought: Philosophy and Food by Elizabet Telfer
Wagering on Transcendence: The Search for Meaning in Literature by Phyllis Carey
The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander