These are notes for the time being because they, like most things, are provisional, open to myriad encounters, and revision. Yet, I keep them here because they chart the evolution of my thinking, research, and pedagogy- where I’ve been, where I see myself now, and where I hope my work will take me.
They are also notes for the time being because as Nao, the protagonist of one of my favorite books, says,
A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and everyone one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.
Although Nao denounces the internet and blogging specifically in the novel, I see this site as enacting a similar gesture to a decision she makes to stow her diary in a Hello Kitty lunchbox and toss it out into the ocean. It is a gesture filled with longing for connection, driven by a willingness to let the current take her words wherever it goes. The discovery of this journal, against all odds, by a willing reader is what opens Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being.
And so, I hope your encounter with this site will in some small way capture the surprise, uncertainty, and excitement of that discovery. For now, I’ll leave you with Nao’s observations and questions,
If you ask me, it’s fantastically cool and beautiful. It’s like a message in a bottle cast out onto the ocean of time and space… And if you’ve read this far, you probably understand what I mean. Do you understand? Do you feel special yet?
I’ll just wait here for a while to see if you answer…
For the time being,