Thursday, August 30, 2007

Where am I?

This isn't a skill testing question for you, nor for that matter a prelude to dropping hints about the fabulous places I've been or am going. You know I am not that subtle. It's a question to myself. I know which city I am in (Boston), and will be (New York, then London). But am referring to those moments where the mind loses its natural references points, like a kind of temporal-spatial dizziness. I need to call a friend, and can't remember whether 6 am here is midnight or noon there, when I realize that 6 am here is also 6 am there. I am sitting in the cinema, and while the images flicker on the screen I suddenly am uncertain where I am. This kind of transport of rapture is of course what art is supposed to achieve, though I'm not sure the 5th Harry Potter film qualifies as art (don't give me a hard time on this one please - HP is children's food, and we all need that from time to time). What I mean is more like this. Even when you're indoors, don't you have a mental map of what the street outside will look like and how it connects to everything else? When you see an image of the screen (which happened to be London in HP 5), don't you say to yourself here (if it's the same town where you happen to be -- happens often in NY or London) or there (if it happens to be some other place you know well) or exotic (places you don't know at all). What happens when this mechanism breaks down? You float: the familiar looks exotic, the exotic vaguely familiar and calming.

Where am I?


1 comment:

Rupa said...

Hmmm... you're obviously not at home or answering your cellphone!!! I wonder what you would be upto on a Friday night in NYC??!! Hmmm.....

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