PHANTOM PAINS I look for meaning, I look for what is real. What are those phantom pains that reach to the furthest horizons of my knowledge, extending their limbs outward, clasping at the edge so I may turn semblance into remembrance? Whose palms search out for exactness so that I may leave all confusion behind? Phantom pain – when I go into the realms of shared thought situated in a characterless space, when too often I ignore what lies between the visible and the invisible – the defined and the vague position my body holds, that place which pencils those too sharp outlines. We think of time as something that walks beside us, with its uniformity, homogenous and predictable. Moving there in the distance at its constant pace, just far enough so that it can frame our experience. For my practical orientation time is a tool, each moment can be measured and thus becomes equal. This temporal separation treats the past, now and the future as a necessary repetition. In my conversations, the dialogue with the objects I encounter, I too rush to name things, to give them effects and isolate them using definite descriptions of the scientific paradigm. Breaking them up into properties and suspending them in time. Wrapping iteration, I look back to the definitive to understand the present – I aim to do this with precision. This will suffice for material life. Like the steps on a ruler, time’s distinctness characterises us and yet the gaze of its clarity only serves to constrict us further. We measure slight happiness, joy, and elation as if these states belonged on a scale of magnitude, as if they were contained within each other. But we are only ever governed by one psychic state at a time, and with it, we colour everything with its shades of being. The moment we attempt to pinpoint one of its features, we divide the mind with the language of space. Just as a musical note played in isolation is meaningless, a psychic feeling is characterised by what came before it, through a succession of experiences. Our inner lives cannot be determined as if they were positions on a coordinate system. They are constructed through endurance in time. Waiting for sugar to dissolve in water is structured by my psychic state, whether it be of boredom or fascination – I as the observer am always included in this process, the sugar and the waiting are together a temporal whole. The pace of this experience, its continuity, is vital to all that is creative. How these feelings interpenetrate in time is how they are to be measured. How time is felt approaching a system will be the experience’s determining factor. My phantom pains are my misguidance in this world. If we are to understand this inner life and its coincidental gestures of outward expression, we cannot view time with this dissociated companionship. We should allow for a more lived and necessarily vague version to exist to be our measure of these perceptive wholes. Time is a creative force.