I remember thinking once that, perhaps – on one morning in the Middle Ages – perhaps in the middle of the 14th century – perhaps just before lunch on a Monday – a man in a field in England – or some other country in Britain – got an itch on the side of his nose. And the itch was so insistent that he, automatically, without thinking about it, scratched the itch – perhaps it took less than two seconds – and then he carried on with his life.
Later – perhaps only 10 minutes later in his life – he would have totally forgotten that the itch ever existed.
But, at the time – for those few seconds – perhaps less than two seconds – it was the overwhelming physical fact in his life.
No-one now – perhaps six centuries later – remembers that the man himself even existed, let alone knows about the itch.
Those two seconds – when the itch was the most overwhelmingly insistent thing in his life – were infinitely less than the tip of a needle in eternity.
But they existed for that lost pin tip in eternity.
I was sitting on the platform at Cricklewood station in London this afternoon, when a pigeon walked up to my feet and started eating a discarded crisp (not mine) on the ground.
The pigeon had five pecks then got hiccups.
It had 16 little hiccups (I counted), looked as startled as I was and then recovered its composure.
I think they were hiccups.
They may have been little coughs.
It is difficult to tell with pigeons and I had never before heard nor seen a pigeon with hiccups – nor coughing.
Then the pigeon walked away, looking for other discarded or random foodstuffs.
I do not know how long pigeons remember things.
Probably not very long.
But this incident did happen…
…for infinitely less than the tip of a needle in eternity
… like everything else I blog about here.
Tempus fugit et nunquam redit
…as long-dead people used to say
… or maybe Tempus fugit et nunquam reddit
… or Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
It has all been said before
…by those who said it better.
It doesn’t matter.