On Our Fifth Issue With a Theme That Is, Time
May 25, 2015
I’m currently sitting in the basement of my parent’s house. It’s 10:56pm, Mountain Time. I haven’t lived in this house for nearly two years, though I’ve returned to it almost every six months since I left for New York. My walls are still covered in posters, flyers, and other assorted memorabilia from my teenage years, and all the CDs and books I left behind (the ones I didn’t think were vital to my collegiate existence) sit on shelves collecting dust. Though nothing has really changed, it seems everything has – where I was once completely at home, sleeping, dancing, and dreaming within these walls, I am now a tourist, visiting the monuments of my adolescence and reminiscing about memories that shouldn’t seem quite so old yet.
In roughly fourteen hours, I’ll board a plane headed to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York City. The flight is about four hours, give or take, and is followed by a cab ride back to my apartment, which varies from twenty to fifty minutes, depending on the time of day and which route I take. The streets start to feel more and more familiar with each journey through them, and the view out the window has lost its initial revelatory luster, replaced instead by anxiety about the coming week and the eventual trip back to my hometown. Sometimes I feel like my life has been commodified into neat squares of minutes and hours, blocked together like a winding tapestry that connects the present to the future. Other times I wish I would just stop thinking for five minutes and enjoy the moment, knowing that it will never appear again.
Though it may not be as obvious as counting the seconds before you fall asleep, or as deceptive as skimming through your old yearbook and realizing you don’t remember half the people in your graduating class, time nonetheless affects us all. It surrounds us from the moment we’re born to the last time we glance at a clock. Few can fully comprehend it, and most can’t figure out what to do with it. Still, it ticks away at our insides, recording the triumphs, the tragedies, and the travels, from trips across oceans to walks along the river. This issue of the Arts and Ideas Review features glimpses into the enigmatic and inescapable nature of time. As my inaugural issue as the editor of AIR, I feel in this moment overwhelmed and relieved at this issue’s publication. It’s been what feels like an eternity since I first took the helm of AIR, and I’ll admit I wondered if it would ever get published, but when the timing’s right, it’s right.
Please enjoy the thoughts and essays of Volume V: Time.