I visited my grandmother today. She lives in what I call the perpetual present. She has no memories that she can string together to form a past, and in all likelihood, she has no visible notion of the future. She is stuck in what China Miéville would call a “time golem”. I sometimes think of her as the luckiest person I know. She is washed of all her sins and her misdeeds and her triumphs and her strengths. She is simply who she is. She becomes the mother of my mother, only when I go see her. Still, often times, especially when she is ill, it can get hard to be the onlooker.
So, I was heading back in my auto, emptying my mind by watching the normality of life pass by – the students leaning against their bikes, trying their cool stance; the cow rummaging through a steadily increasing garbage mound; the aunty and uncle who are hauling groceries home; the fairly jobless guy sitting on the side of the road, spitting sideways; and then something yellow. I poke my head out of the auto and there, peeping over the low wall of a garden are sunflowers. A field of tall sunflowers in a small garden on a grey cloudy day. I brought that image with me all the way to work, and tried to hastily form it into words. My own attempt at creating a time golem, set to play like a loop in my head: Yellow flowers turning their earnest heads towards an absent sun.