A Leaf Falls - Richard Jefferies Reimagined (#5)
Realising that spirit, recognising my own inner consciousness, the psyche, so clearly, I cannot understand time. It is eternity now. I am in the midst of it. It is about me in the sunshine; I am in it, as the butterfly floats in the light-laden air.
I’d already read the ‘Gamekeeper at Home’, but it was reading ‘The Story of My Heart’ - in my early teens - that profoundly influenced my way of thinking and outlook on life.
An epiphany of a kind which I share with Richard Jefferies and which in ‘Harmony’ (the opening piece to the 2013 Proms), Julian Anderson brings back the beauty of the moment.
Nothing has to come; it is now. Now is eternity; now is the immortal life. Here this moment, by this tumulus, on earth, now; I exist in it. The years, the centuries, the cycles are absolutely nothing; it is only a moment since this tumulus was raised; in a thousand years it will still be only a moment. To the soul there is no past and no future; all is and will be ever, in now.
over ancient mounds
For artificial purposes time is mutually agreed on, but is really no such thing. The shadow goes on upon the dial, the index moves round upon the clock, and what is the difference? None whatever. If the clock had never been set going, what would have been the difference?
There may be time for the clock, the clock may make time for itself; there is none for me 1.
I dip my hand in the brook and feel the stream; in an instant the particles of water which first touched me have floated yards down the current, my hand remains there. I take my hand away, and the flow–the time–of the brook does not exist to me. The great clock of the firmament, the sun and the stars, the crescent moon, the earth circling two thousand times, is no more to me than the flow of the brook when my hand is withdrawn; my soul has never been, and never can be, dipped in time. Time has never existed, and never will; it is a purely artificial arrangement. It is eternity now, it always was eternity, and always will be. By no possible means could I get into time if I tried. I am in eternity now and must there remain. Haste not, be at rest, this Now is eternity. Because the idea of time has left my mind–if ever it had any hold on it–to me the man interred in the tumulus is living now as I live. We are both in eternity.
a leaf falls
Extract from Richard Jefferies ‘The Story of my Heart’ (1883).
My Prose Nomination for Word Up - Bath Radio's first on-air Literature Festival 2
The Chilterns over Fawley Bottom, Buckinghamshire Noel Gregory Baguley (1898–1980)————————-
- . This was the inspiration for ‘Harmony’ - the opening piece to the 2013 Proms by Julian Anderson, which draws lines from it.
When we listen to music together in a concert, our normal sense of everyday, clock time is suspended and we enter the time of the music itself. So in writing a work such as Harmony, which celebrates eternity and timelessness, however briefly, in effect one is celebrating one of the special marvels of concert giving and of music itself. Julian Anderson
20th - 24th July 2020, 2 to 4pm