A Unicorn’s Thoughts After Reading “Present Tense” by Alan Burdick
I felt very relieved when I was reading the first few paragraphs of the article. It’s nice to know that someone who could think so much about waking up in the middle of the night, which seemed like a crazy thinking journey that led to many things, could publish those thoughts on New Yorker. It reminded me of the old times when I feel like a weird, over-thinking, day-dreaming teenager.
There was a time when I would wonder about time and being. At some point I decided to try harder to be more grounded and think less about abstract things that I could never have a real answer to. And the thoughts about time could bring up different emotions, like shock, sobriety, alert, excitement, fear, loneness, and many others. For example, even though I am not always very sensitive to the historical and vintage things, there were moments when the expansion of the time that put me in the awe. On a trip in the Northwest China, we were lucky enough to lie on the top of the hill in a village and enjoyed a meteor shower. That was such a beautiful and very special experience to me, because I never saw so many stars, and meteors of course. It felt like we were surrounded and covered by the blanket of the stars, and it was suddenly understandable to me why people used to think the ground was flat and the sky was a bowl upside down. Those stars felt so close to me and full of life and story. I could imagine that in ancient China, families lie outside in the summer to chill and they looked up to the sky and also felt the connection between them and the stars. We have many stories and fairy legend that involved stars, and from that moment, and I knew they were not just made up just because.
This is one example that when being very present, I appreciated the past and had the connected feeling to the past as the present… I wish I could say it better. There are other studies showing that imagining the future could evoke the same reaction and feeling like it’s happening right now. Anyway, time is such a magic “dimension” in life! Some may say that time is life, which is true also!