The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once
Suppose your life a folded telescope
Durationless, collapsed in just a flash
As from your mother's womb you, bawling, drop
Into a nursing home. Suppose you crash
Your car, your marriage, toddler laying waste
A field of daisies, schoolkid, zit-faced teen
With lover zipping up your pants in haste
Hearing your parents' tread downstairs, all one.
Einstein was right. That would be too intense.
You need a chance to preen, to give a dull
Recital before an indifferent audience
Equally slow in jeering you and clapping.
Time takes its time unraveling. But, still,
You'll wonder when your life ends: Huh? What happened?
"Jorge Luis Borges (speaking of blind people), photographed by many, and quoted by even more, felt despair, Dyer noted, because his medium, words, could never describe the simultaneity of everything occurring at once in a given moment in our universe—the ur-realiy of our visible universe—because words (and photographs) are successive, not simultaneous. But Dyer persists: 'To reconcile the simultaneous and the successive; that is one of the ambitions of these pages,' he writes."
— Mark Power on writer Geoff Dyer thoughts on photography on Power's blog, the Salt Mine:
I'm thinking about naming my show The Purpose of Time Is to Prevent Everything from Happening at Once. I've always liked the simultaneous. It's why I like art but also statistics, indexes, air travel--anything that gives you an overall perspective. Of course I love successive things like novels and movies, too. But in my pictures, it's really the capturing of everything at once that grabs me.
A sidebar: I suppose that the purpose of space is to keep everything from being in the same spot--maybe I should do some sculpture!