Published in  
October 10, 2017

Time enfoldments

To the modern mind that sees time as a Newtonian flow of moments from past to present to future, ancestry is a distant object – and matters of belonging and indigeneity are locked in a static past, accessible only to a few.

Nothing however does more to remind me that the past is never done, that the past is enfolded into the thick now, that ancestrality is a matter of dense and marked landscapes and stumbling places attracting our bodies, and that – in the words of Karen Barad – the past is yet to come, than the shining sun. Her light reaches us from the ‘past’, 8 minutes prior. In a sense, she haunts the sky…because, in a manner of speaking, she is ‘no longer there’.

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To gaze into the sky is to look into the ‘past’ in its ongoingness; it is to touch the previous. And to smile at the sun, in response to its pleasant radiance, is – for the sun – to reach out from the future and touch the present. Between me and the sun, and everything else between, time is broken. Open. The past is entangled with the present is entangled with the future, and to separate them into industrial time is to postpone the lingering voices and tensions already in the urgent now. Somehow my ancestors are reconfigured in the thickness of today, a queer libation away.