Tied up in knots

It’s easy to forget that it took European languages more than a thousand years to develop into the forms we are familiar with today. It took European script even longer to become the sign system we use almost without thinking.

There have always been attempts to arrest the inexorable march of words towards their elusive self-fulfilment.

Stop, moment, you are wonderful! The tragedy of time, the drama of growth. It is a mystery, perhaps the most remarkable of them all, that we have evolved a thinking framework whereby we wish to put an end to things. Immortalise nature, capture the moment, build a dam against the rapids. It never works, but the idea is wonderful. It took us very far, bringing the best and the worst in us.

We tie ourselves up in knots, but every single knot is eventually loosened and untied. The dream may last a long time, but not forever. The most grounded idea has built-in wings, a kind of lift quality that finally carries it up and away.

Memories are the most advanced achievement of the human project, and history its cutting-edge technology. To look back is to postulate immobility. The mind moves, but the past stays firm, like a rock of ages. But even rocks move, and the mind along with them.

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