Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding
Earlier this week, I used our new slow cooker for the first time. Behold:
I was prepared for all kinds of emotional turbulence. Crunchy potatoes. Pink meatballs. Endless dithering over the feasibility of reheating two-day-old stew. Just how speedy could a slow cooker be?
What I actually got, as happens a lot when in the house alone, writing, was a jarring reminder of time and its relentless bloody march.
Slow cookers are slow, you see. In their very sluggishness, they lend themselves – rather like beards – to a sharpened awareness of time passing. Of the many sensations sparked by applying my appliance for the first time, none was more startling than the consummate melancholy of returning to the vat two, four, six, eight hours after first flicking the switch.
It wasn’t that the stew was unsatisfactory. It was just the consciousness of hours disappearing. Hours during which I accomplished… Well, plenty, as it happened, but not enough – as if anything could ever be enough – to diminish the quiet sadness of time. For sorrow is as much part of time as the minutes and seconds we use to count it. Unspecific, inconsequential, poetic. It is just there. All around us, all the time.
Oh dear. I’m sorry. It must be the continuing influence of Einstein’s Dreams. I didn’t mean to get all fin de siècle. Next thing you know, I’ll be comparing myself to the Marschallin.
Actually, to hell with it. I make no apologies. The Marschallin had her beloved Octavian to remind her that she’s getting older; I’ve got my Morphy Richards. That’s just the way life is.