Saturday, May 17, 2014

“Ô Temps, suspends ton vol!” or..


Oh time, suspend thy flight.
 
The French poet, Lamartine, in his poem “The Lake” addresses this notion – the wish to suspend time, or, in his case, return to a happier one.

I have often thought that flight suspends ones time: the hours necessary to travel from one continent to another by airplane are for me a pleasurable suspension of normal activities: I will greatly regret the day when one can shut off one’s cell phone, computer, wi-fi for a day without the need for an excuse other than that of one is not allowed.

Now, I know that I can voluntarily do this at any time, but that requires an amount of self-discipline that I, more often than not, totally lack!

In a larger sense, suspending one’s daily life for the time of travel goes beyond this notion: I actively enjoy being unreachable.  For the period of a train ride, a car trip, a plane transfer, I am in my own little cocoon, sheltered from decisions, from accomplishing tasks other than those of my own choosing, ie reading, writing (with pen and paper no less), playing Sudoku – again the paper version.

I love being able to do so – it somewhat compensates for the pain of said travel.

« Mais je demande en vain quelques moments encore,
            Le temps m'échappe et fuit ;”

Translated: In vain I ask for hours to linger on
And Time slips into flight.

For those who wish to read this lovely poem in its original version (French) as well as in the translated version: http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.ch/2010/04/lamartine-lake-from-french.html

Atlanta May 13, 2014