I like the thought of time being bound in place. I immediately think of church bells tolling in Swiss Valleys heralding the changing of the hour which the whole valley cannot miss. However, you are getting at something a whole lot deeper than that with your observation of the "here and now" being intimately entwined, and I look forward to exploring this more.

I have been reading The Long View by Richard Fisher and what has been most eye-opening is reading of the different conceptions of time that indigenous peoples have. It goes to show Western/modern conceptions of time, though holding the global monopoly, are not the sole keepers of time so to speak.

An example from the book is the Aymara people, who describe the future as behind them and the past as before them.

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Aug 17Liked by Dougald Hine

Hi, I sit here in a Waiting Room at 10:20 on Thursday morning in the Western Eye Hospital on Marylebone Road. A few minutes passing have been indicated on the analog clock, no second hand. I’m still sitting in the same seat. People have moved. A waft of air finds its way through a gap in the window. A noise of traffic finds its way through the same slit. My fingers tap out letters on my iPhone 11. It’s so good to read another person who still remembers the thinking of Ivan Illich. Dougald, I remember your voice and your manner of being when I read your words. An aspect of your presence from long ago resonates. Not quite a ghost. Not your writing, or speaking, although those entities are still part of the picture I have in mind. What comes to mind is something to do with your practise of being. This comes to mind for me here, at 10:42, while I wait.

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Jun 14Liked by Dougald Hine

One of the things I love about your writing is that I managed to experience a moment of that island's stillness and timelessness just by reading your brief description of the place and space. Perfect. Thank you. I feel like I have been on a journey myself. 👍🌞

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Beautiful ... very happy to feed off more musings inspired by Patmos. Glorious writing

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Really love the image of Patmos, or maybe any place that has a long history of prayer and contemplation, as Lothlorien. Also this is my first time reading your essay “remember the future” though it’s been on my shelves for many years in DM 2. Strangely, as I read it now it feels deeply familiar, like second nature, yet it is also perfectly timed for a first read now as we’ve recently opened the new Pandora’s box called AI. Will try to work on improvising until we find hope at the bottom. 🙏


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Surprised to see Gabor Maté in the photo!

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Also currently reading Rivers North of the Future and listening to Federico Campagna's idea of the "post-future" as well. I think he has lots to contribute to our sense of the "hic et nunc".

Branching out, I find myself cottoning onto mythopoetic storytelling and how that relates to the idea of the "storied-self" which Martin Shaw indirectly (via Elizabeth Oldfield in her recent Unheard article) flags up. I found this quote by Alistair Macintyre: “I can only answer the question “What am I to do?” if I can answer the prior question: “Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?”

Btw, I first came across the use of a ruins metaphor in After Virtue: the thinking of Macintyre, Philip Rieff et al, and later Charles Taylor, offers an account of collapse as loss of the sacred and of mystery.

So, is this Island Time sacred space/place? A sort of Life Works that can start the long haul to offset Philip Reiff's "Deathworks"? Or, am I just messing around!

I liked Elizabeth Oldfield's opening question in her Sacred Podcast interview and hope we'll hear more about sacred mystery.

A last quick thought: how this sits with the amazing secularocene insight of Mohamed Amer Meziane "the earth did not ask to carry the burden of heaven" which clearly needs to be woven into the thinking of Illich as displayed in Rivers North of the Future, imo.

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