About Time

by sarahartonsherkin


Last night I watched the great John Berger’s documentary on Time.

He talks about how, when we listen to a story, “we find ourselves in an eternal present; the time in the story goes beyond.”

“The idea that all life is a story told is a very old one.”


“Barns make everybody think of time. After the haymaking a barn is full, and then they are only filled with light and have to be filled again.”


“Every shepherd knows that the herd outlives the herdsman.”

For animals, he says, time is experienced more like space. “There is no anxiety for tomorrow so they need no philosophy; all their senses alert them to what is happening here/there, rather than today/tomorrow.”


“Men of wisdom saw time laid out as if it was space.”

He made a drawing of his father before he died and tells of “the intensity of seeing for the last time.” And how the drawing “began as a sight of departure, now it has become a sight of arrival; everyday more of my father’s life returns to the drawing in front of me.” 

He describes the “metaphor of time as flow, a river.”

about time

“Distant dreams of a Golden Age help us to come to terms with the present.”

“In a dream nothing is insignificant.”

“When we dream we have the sensation that whatever is happening and what will happen has already been decided. Past and future co-exist.”


“Poets whisper to the future.”