Response to “Hours and Days”

by on February 20, 2013

Responses Takes
Illustration by Sally ScopaIllustration by Sally Scopa

Where does the mind go when we take a walk? Does it extend to touch the land, or play off corners of a new room? Do my thoughts intersect in the space between me and a car moving toward us, or mingle aroundtheedgesof a magazine that wrinkles in my bag?

For Pat, physical space, movement, and perception are closely connected indeed. A distinct form of clarity appears as he walks with a roommate or as he drives through the night. When his mind has the chance to sink “into the soft, silent land around it,” experience becomes uniquely satisfying.

In the woods of Colorado, a hike and a lunch feel so coherent that he writes of it as a self-realizing narrative when they “called it the end.” The stories of the baseball diamond are mapped, too. He finds the sport captivating because each windup creates an expanse of potential arcs across the field. The imagination collapses withthe pitch into one screaming grounder toward third and the sprint of a runner on his path. Even in the virtual world of Zelda, polygonal as it might be, Pat has a genuine excitement about wandering in that immersive environment. But if satisfaction is linked with a sense of movement through space, what happens to our thoughts (and ourselves) when the spaces of our lives become disordered and fragmented?

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