It Times Take – a Turn

Sara Ahmed
Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others

The sentence arrests:

It times take, but this work of inhabitance does take place. [p. 11]

It evokes a double take because of the interference of the idiomatic “it takes time”. But if “times” is a verb then we get the timing of the “take”. The laying down of rhythms. Indeed the context suggests such:

In stretching myself out, moving homes for me is coming to inhabit spaces, coming to embody them, where my body and the rooms in which it gathers — sitting, sleeping, writing, acting as it does, in this room and that room — cease to be distinct. It times take, but this work of inhabitance does take place. It is a process of becoming intimate with where one is: an intimacy that feels like inhabiting a secret room that is concealed from the view of others. Loving one’s home is not about being fixed into a place, but rather it is about becoming part of a space where one has expanded one’s body. [p. 11]

But the temptation is there to multiply “take”. But as we read on several pages later, we understand the singleness:

We then come to “have a line,” which might mean a specific “take” on the world, a set of views and viewing points, as well as a route through the contours of the world, which gives our world its own contours. So we follow the lines, and in following them we become committed to “what” they lead us to as well as “where” they take us. [p. 17]

This passage leads me to turn back and understand the singleness of “take” not as a “taken” but a “taking” or even a “to be taking”.

And so for day 2492

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In Imagination We Wander

Beneath My Feet: Writers on Walking edited by Duncan Minshull

Passing, glimpsing, everything seems accidentally but miraculously sprinkled with beauty, as if the tide of trade which deposits its burden so punctually and prosaically upon the shores of Oxford Street had this night cast up nothing but treasure. With no thought of buying, the eye is sportive and generous; it creates; it adorns; it enhances. Standing out in the street, on may build up all the chambers of an imaginary house and furnish them at one’s will with sofa, table, carpet. That rug will do for the hall. That alabaster bowl shall stand on a carved table in the window. Our merrymaking shall be reflected in that thick round mirror. But, having built and furnished the house, one is happily under no obligation to possess it; one can dismantle it in the twinkling of an eye, and build and furnish another house with other chairs and other glasses.

from Virginia Woolf “Street Haunting: A London Adventure” 1930

Wandering in Imagination

And so for day 2491

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Memorable Monologue on Memory

Still Alice (2014)

Dr. Alice Howland: Good morning. It’s an honor to be here. The poet Elizabeth Bishop once wrote: ‘the Art of Losing isn’t hard to master: so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.’ I’m not a poet, I am a person living with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, and as that person I find myself learning the art of losing every day. Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleep, but mostly losing memories…

[she knocks the pages from the podium]

Dr. Alice Howland: I think I’ll try to forget that just happened.

[crowd laughs]

Dr. Alice Howland: All my life I’ve accumulated memories – they’ve become, in a way, my most precious possessions. The night I met my husband, the first time I held my textbook in my hands. Having children, making friends, traveling the world. Everything I accumulated in life, everything I’ve worked so hard for – now all that is being ripped away. As you can imagine, or as you know, this is hell. But it gets worse. Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were? Our strange behavior and fumbled sentences change other’s perception of us and our perception of ourselves. We become ridiculous, incapable, comic. But this is not who we are, this is our disease. And like any disease it has a cause, it has a progression, and it could have a cure. My greatest wish is that my children, our children – the next generation – do not have to face what I am facing. But for the time being, I’m still alive. I know I’m alive. I have people I love dearly. I have things I want to do with my life. I rail against myself for not being able to remember things – but I still have moments in the day of pure happiness and joy. And please do not think that I am suffering. I am not suffering. I am struggling. Struggling to be part of things, to stay connected to whom I was once. So, ‘live in the moment’ I tell myself. It’s really all I can do, live in the moment. And not beat myself up too much… and not beat myself up too much for mastering the art of losing. One thing I will try to hold onto though is the memory of speaking here today. It will go, I know it will. It may be gone by tomorrow. But it means so much to be talking here, today, like my old ambitious self who was so fascinated by communication. Thank you for this opportunity. It means the world to me. Thank you.

And so for day 2490

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Ash Aloft

Lindsay Remee Ahl: (“Hidden Flame” in The Southern Review, Summer 2018)

I was ash in the wide sky.

François Lachance:

I was awash in the wide sky

I think the wash comes from the very painterly presences in this lyric.

Her poem opens:

I spent my childhood in a cave,
    outside glowing snow, inside Byzantine paintings,
ceiling bats, everything drawn like a breath.
    When I wanted to leave, I lit myself on fire; it didn’t hurt—
I listened to the flames the way an owl listens to air currents;
    I was ash in the wide sky.

Indeed, everything drawn like a breath, exhaling to ash …

And so for day 2489

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D Q & R

Today’s entry is brought to you by the letters, D, Q & R.

Bertrand Russell The Good Citizen’s Alphabet

illustrations by Franciszka Themerson

DIABOLICAL – Liable to diminish the income of the rich

Letter D from The Good Citizen's Alphabet by Bertrand Russell

DIABOLIC – Liable to diminish the income of the rich

QUEER – Basing opinions on evidence

Letter Q from The Good Citizen's Alphabet by Bertrand Russell

QUEER – Basing opinions on evidence

RATIONAL – Not basing opinions on evidence

Letter R from The Good Citizen's Alphabet by Bertrand Russell

RATIONAL – Not basing opinions on evidence

I like how each letter is given an individual typeface. I love how much meaning can be extracted from whether an umbrella is open or closed.

And so for day 2488

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I Wonder About Andrew Wyeth

Beneath My Feet: Writers on Walking Edited by Duncan Minshull contains

Richard Jefferies “The Inevitable End of Every Footpath”

The surface of mowing-grass is indeed made up of so many tints that at first glance it is confusing; and hence, perhaps, it is that hardly ever has an artist succeeded in getting the effect upon canvas. Of the million blades of grass no two are of the same shade.

Pluck a handful and spread them out side by side and this is at once evident. Nor is any single blade the same shade all the way up. There may be a faint yellow towards the root, a full green about the middle, at the tip perhaps the hot sun has scorched it, and there is a trace of brown. The older grass, which comes up earliest, is distinctly different in tint from that which has but just reached its greatest height, and in which the sap has not yet stood still.

From Nature Near London 1885

And so for day 2487

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A Cat Named Hero

Meet Hero

hero the cat - mascot of the Center for the Art of Translation

The mascot of the Center for the Art of Translation (CAT)

Here is a depiction embellishing a banner

Center for the Art of Translation - banner

Hero supplies the perfect anchorage for a visual mnemonic.

And so for day 2486

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The Time It Takes

Julia Cooper
The Last Word: Reviving the Dying Art of Eulogy

When you are pressured to get over grief in a timely fashion, time itself begins to feel restrictive, like the tightening straps of a straitjacket that draw your arms incrementally closer, as though you might suffocate yourself in a lonely embrace. The canvas begins to chafe and your joints begin to pulse with each moment that grief’s lastingness goes unacknowledged.

Taking time — shorn of the usual pronoun (taking one’s time, taking your time) the expression seems to draw on a collective reservoir.

And so for day 2485

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Haikus for Aliens: Picture Books

The Guardian interviews Cressida Cowell, Children’s Laureate


Her ultimate aim is to get children “as excited about reading and books as they are about films and telly”.

“Because – I’ll just hit you with it,” she says, leaning forward in her armchair in excitement, “because books are a kind of transformative magic that offer magical things that films aren’t as good at creating in children: empathy, creativity and intelligence. With a film, things happen out there, in a book it’s happening inside your head, so that’s empathy. Creativity – a book is partly what I say and partly what a reader imagines, whereas films are very bossy, they tell you how things would look and how they would sound. Intelligence is words. Those are the three magical powers, that’s why books have to survive – because, my goodness, we need empathetic intelligent creative people today.”


“I think picture books are fascinating, they’re like writing haikus for aliens.”

See how intelligence, creativity and empathy are caught in that simile — haikus for aliens.

And so for day 2484

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Quoting the Quotation, Simply

Zhu Xiao-Mei
Bach – The French Suites BWV 812-817

from the back of the CD case

It is with children in mind that I recorded these French Suites, always having heartfelt simplicity and purity in their mind. Children see the world with hope, optimism, and cast in light — much like Miró sees the world. I find a childlike purity in him, similar to what I hear in the French Suites. There is a quote by Miró that touches me enormously and makes me think a lot whenever I play, as it reflects something that may be the most difficult aspect of musical interpretation — and of art in general: “To gain freedom is to gain simplicity.”

The cover of the CD case features a photograph of Zhu Xiao-Mei in front of a Joan Miró painting, Le Jour (1974). There’s a companion La Nuit.

Juan Miro - Le Jour

And so for day 2483

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