Merging memoir, prose, and historical biography, MARIA TUMARKIN‘s Axiomatic has been called a study of trauma. But it’s also a book about time.
To those for whom the arrival of spring has plunged their thoughts back to the last one – to the same season one year ago, when everything changed and at the same time everything stopped moving – we offer this piece to accompany your chronological contemplations:
“So this is how it is, I think. Stars rain from the sky like shards of glass.
The past does not move through the present like a pointed finger or a shadowy confessor in a long cloak. The past is not told you so. Not this is how it all began. It is a knock on the door in the middle of the night. You open the door and no one is there. You cannot tell yourself it must be those feral boys from the corner house because it is too late even for them, and no you could not have heard the knock in your sleep because you’ve been wide awake all night like a hermit crab. So this is how it is. Stars fall from the sky like shot baby sparrows in Mao’s China. Books are imperishable only because turning them into ash takes so little (it’s not like blowing up buildings); they are imperishable only because they are so ready to survive, dispersed across the world, as trails of dust, memories, shreds. As to us, me and you, oh it’s simple. We are the broken vessels containing, spilling all over the place, those who came before us.”
Read “Societies that are beholden to chronological time are immoral,” Shane Anderson’s 2020 interview with the author, HERE.