Julie Rafalski

Past- Present III

The view outside my window is current: the trees sway in the wind, a bird is chirping, distant cars pass, clouds move slowly overhead.
Subtract 10 years and perhaps the trees are shorter, the cars a little older, the road newer and maybe the buildings have fewer stains on their walls. Things have a more naive look to them, as when one looks at old photos of familiar places, the objects in them look younger, fresher, almost innocent. Because we know them now to be older and pinned down with the weight of the present moment.

Subtract 10 000 years and it still is the same place but now a forest. Perhaps birch and pines grow here, perhaps moss grows on a fallen pine and rocks are settled at the bottom of a stream.

The time that passed between 10 000 BC and 10 years ago has been continuous. If someone had seen the entirety of this time interval in this place, now the memories of this place would be all jumbled up- last Thursday's rain mixed up with that of a stormy Thursday 8, 341 years ago. The shape of a cloud at night this week with a similarly shaped cloud hundreds of years ago. The sound of the wind rustling the leaves this morning with that same sound 2 017 years ago.