Posts Tagged ‘timelessness’

Africa Journal #4, Time out of time

January 5, 2012

We have just completed our 3rd full day on this adventure in Africa. It takes a lot of concentration to figure that out. Three days. It might have been three years. Maybe just a minute. Only a speck of time. All of eternity. I can’t say why or wherefore or what I really mean by this. There couldn’t be a narrative that would even vaguely contain it.

Yet, as it goes in Kenya, we spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting to herd cats to get in the vans to leave. Waiting an hour for the paint store to mix one can of paint. Waiting for the police escort to stand in a long line to check out his weapon so that he can escort us into the slum. Waiting for the kids to put on their little show for us. Nothing is “on time.” What is time? I’ve been waiting for 18 months to get back to Africa to see Esther, the little girl I promised to come back to see. Now waiting to finally get to her orphanage to see her, which will happen tomorrow.

Time is a man-made invention. It doesn’t exist as we know it in nature. And it sure doesn’t exist as we know it in Africa.  I feel its absence like a presence here. This happens where in live in the mountains of Appalachia, I have learned a lot about time and timelessness in the mountains. But this is qualitatively different from that experience too. It is more condensed. More vast. More original.

To live and move and be in the world beyond time, outside of time, released from time, that would be closer to our primordial nature. That way of being is with us all along if we just listen. Time is an illusion anyway. I feel closer to that here, and I like it. It changes you.