I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately. I’ve read two books in which time plays a large part. The first is The museum of innocence by Orhan Pamuk.
In it a love sick man collects objects which have a connection with a woman: “the object of his affection” if you will. What he collects can be a comb that she used, her ash tray and the cigarette butts in it, but also postcards of places that she frequents or labels from bottles of her favorite drink. anything, really as long as it has any kind of connection to her. Because she is a part of his life for a long time, the collection of objects keeps growing and his own connection to these objects becomes more and more complex. He spends time building a world around him based on his love for this woman and the physical manifestation of her through things. He chooses to dedicate himself to these objects, creating a history and an almost fictional story about the two of them together. Even though his goal is to tell the true story of their relationship using these things. An object only becomes worth anything when it has a story.
Because he does not collect the objects in chronological order the reader travels back and forth in time between memories and chance meetings, all the time making you realize that everything we do and even possess is a reflection on how we spend time and most importantly with who we do that.
The second book was Winter Journal by Paul Auster which is simply a diary written by the the author himself. He is in his sixties and writes down the most important events which led him to become the man he now is. It was comforting to read that when he was my age he did not have his life together. after having read this book I can not think why I sometimes think that I should have my life together or better still: Why do I sometimes think I DON’T have my life together. A ridiculous thought.
Most importantly it made me realize how much time we all have to wonderful things. Soppy stuff I know, but it’s what I took away from the book.