Standing in Time, Watching – a Rumination on Times, Bones and maybe Paris

Standing in Time

Time is such a fickle thing. We all talk about it; how we have good times or bad and overall too less of it. It is measurable in minutes and hours, days and years. Yet then, we can not agree what the time really is. Just take last night: An all new Bones was on at 8 pm, but it was 2 am and not even the same day. This summer I traveled from Berlin to Detroit to San Diego to Detroit to Chicago to Detroit to Berlin to Paris and back to Berlin. Wherever I was 8 pm of the same day came and went at a different time.

As I mentioned Paris, I took the photo above at Musee d’Orsay. Once upon a time this structure of gorgeous Beaux-Arts architecture was the terminus of the Paris – Orleans Railway and a hotel. Since 1986 it is home of the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. But wherever you look inside its walls your eyes are caught by these gargantuan clocks that loom above your head. The tourists rush past the Cezanne’s, Degas’s, Renoir’s, Monet’s, Seurat’s and van Gogh’s, who tried to capture a moment and preserve it through time; the tourists just try to catch the bus to the next sight on their tight schedule as if the place was still a station.

This clock makes you stand in time. You’re inside it, watching out. What you see standing out from the ocean of buildings that make up the myth Paris is Sacre Coeur. When planned, it was meant to become a national symbol of penance for the excesses of the Second Empire and the socialist Paris Commune of 1871. Hence this Catholic church, embodiment of conservative public moral, was built right next to the most rebellious neighborhood filled with artists and intellectuals – Montmatre. Yet then times changed, WWI came and the outlook became a completely different. When consecrated in 1919 the church was dedicated to those who died often the most gruesome deaths on the battlefields.

Standing in time and watching – that’s intriguing. What can one see? What would fill the blank in the middle?

What do you mean, fictional characters are not eligible? Who else should I care for?

It’s time to vote. That’s a crucial act in a democratic society. Every voice is equally important and should be heard. But debates made up like quiz shows with winners and losers, set between Monday Night Football and the latest re-runs of The West Wing make it ever harder to draw the line between reality and fiction. After all, all of it comes from the same place and is equally far away. And most people probably know more about the problems in the lives of their favorite ship than about the differences in the programs of the presidential candidates. Hence, ‘What do you mean, fictional characters are not eligible? Who or What else is there to care about?’ is a highly sarcastic, but in my opinion sadly not too far fetched look at our time.

And then there is Bound. I could give you two completely different explanations. One is another critical view on our society and how we are bound by time, how our schedules are planned out to the minute and we always run behind with a bad conscience until it suddenly stops forever -. The other one that I prefer is about perfect times that are bound to be found and pleasant fantasies that Tiffany Reisz planted in my head. She is the real instigator of this one and the inspirer of old longings that will probably never be stilled for me. For everyone under 18 or whoever wants to keep his/er high opinion of me or the halo above her/is head: Stick with the society critic explanation and don’t go to Google. (For everyone else, you might want to read The Siren first, then The Angel and then everything else Mistress Reisz has to offer for free on her page. But don’t ever say I brought you to fall.)

OK, now I go back and stand in time and will see what else can fill the blank once I look long enough at Sacre Coeur. Perfect Times.

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