Time fetish

I can feel a change coming in my life. Of course I know that it is coming, since I set it in motion; but there are indicators that confirm it for me. I touch on them and their texture reassures me.

There is a certain character to my encounters these days. I get in touch with old friends, I revisit old familiar places I haven’t been in years, I try drinks I had put aside long ago, I see old roommates again. And in each of these circumstances, there is a kind of summing-up; chapters get closed, stories are resolved, the past is put in its new place and its parts shuffle into their new arrangements. The conversations tend toward the historical, or the philosophical. They also seem larger than themselves, and they somehow come from behind themselves.

The people I’m meeting, the encounters I’m having, stand like gatekeepers at a portal. They are ordinary encounters at ordinary times in others’ lives; but for me they seem to reflect the glow that comes from the open hallway behind them. They are different in that light. Their shadows go far back, the shine on them projects forward. They take on a fetish character, they represent a divinity that I begin to see in them.

Fetishization has come to mean pay unreasonable attention to, or rank something inappropriately: there’s a background standard of rationality the fetishizer offends against. I think the usage derives from Marx; but he used it to mean: to give powers to something that doesn’t have them, to make the thing a divinity. However there is a truth to the divinity of the fetish, that he would not deny.

In the social world, powers are transferable to things. Money is a god, it does create and destroy. Clothes, houses, other objects: they can confer status. The fetishes that are made of these things do gain powers. You make a thing a fetish, and the fetish is the dwelling place of the god, simply because you say it is. The fetish is the object or the time or the festival or the place in which god reveals some of his presence; and he reveals it to you and you perceive it.

This time is the dwelling place of the god, the god resides in this time, he gives the events in this time to partake in his character; because the god is absolute openness and absolute possibility. This is the time of portals and the openings in walls that had been only the outer edges of the shape of your life, this time has the god in it; it shows forth part of the god, a possibility from his realm of all-possible, sent as emissary to the actual world, existing in the transient moment, temporarily making actual the possibility as possibility.

Or: instead it’s like you check your necessities before you go out the door. Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch, your fingers touch on them and make sure they are there to rely on; you double-check on the things you are used to, the things you’ll carry on your way; you touch a memory and remind yourself of its texture, you close certain doors to shallow halls as you climb the stairs into the radiant, deeper one.

2 Replies to “Time fetish”

  1. Yeah, I hate it when I leave the house without my testicles.

    Whenever I make big transitions — or, whenever I MADE big transitions, as it has been quite a while since I’ve transished — I always have/had the feeling of becoming less and less physically present, becoming gradually more transparent and wraithlike until, during the week before the big change, I’m not really there at all. It’s just a projection of me, finishing up the packing and tying up loose ends.

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