the difference between a moment and an instant

137. Train of thought

The screenwriter Dennis Potter was interviewed on television. Some time during the early Nineties. He was asked what it felt like to have a few weeks to live. Natalie Blake remembered this answer: 'I look out my window and I see the blossom. And it's more blossomy than it's ever been.'...

...Blossom was always intensely blossomy to Natalie Blake. Beauty created a special awareness in her. 'The difference between a moment and an instant.' She couldn't remember much about the philosophical significance of this distinction other than that her good friend Leah Hanwell had once tried to understand it, a long time ago, when they were students, and far smarter than they were today. And for a brief period in 1995, perhaps a week or so, she had thought that she understood it.

Such a moment has a peculiar character. It is brief and temporal indeed, like every moment; it is transient, as all moments are; it is past, like every moment in the next moment. And yet it is decisive, and filled with the eternal. Such a moment ought to have a distinctive name; let us call it the Fullness of Time.

Favourite part of Zadie Smith's NW so far.

I'm feeling like it's more blossomy than it's ever been, too.

1 comment:

  1. I like that. Thank you for sharing.

    - Jenny -