Category Archives: The Moment

From The Moment:

Heavy with homesickness for being: ill-adapted. In my
heaviness the moment passes me by. I’m looking for it in
these scattered words. Is it looking for me too, the moment,
calling me into itself? Does it need my words to
come to itself? But it’s been and gone and I’m passing
my time in detours. Then—miracle—the words come together
and lift me into it.

A walk before lunch. I sit on the stump of a tree and write
a note on my phone. The screen reflects the sky as I write,
partly obscuring my words. When I name a thing it comes
alive for an instant, then sinks back into itself. These
words really should be varying shades between black and
white, appearing and disappearing on the screen. And yet
they seem to be making their way towards something.
Towards what?

The wisdom of certain everyday phrases. We speak of being
in the moment and of pregnant moments. We speak
of the fullness of time, of a time that’s ripe. Beautiful
phrase: the fullness of time. What does it mean? In everyday
language, when something happens in the fullness of
time it happens at a time that has finally come, a time of
the fulfilment of some event. Something comes into its
own, something time has ripened. For Paul it had to do
with the first and second coming of Christ, and the coming
to pass of God’s plan at decisive moments in history.
But what if it were taken to refer not to a past or future
event so much as to time itself? What if the fullness of
time referred not to a time that’s ripe for something but
to a time that’s ripe with itself, that fulfils itself in the
moment?

If the moment is the revelation of the fullness of time,
it can’t be part of everyday time. It can’t simply be one of
a series of separate nows, but rather the felt instant that
opens your present out to the future and gives your past
meaning—only to withdraw again.

Splice’s description of The Moment:

In the murky aftermath of a breakdown, a man still at odds with himself takes flight to a cottage in rural Norfolk. There he intends to strip his life of everything trivial, everything superfluous, paring it all back to the essential truths, values, and experiences. In doing so, he keeps a fragmentary journal: not a record of progress as such, but sporadic notes on his new surroundings as he attends to minor changes in search of an ideal moment-a moment of unity between body and mind, in which there is no distinction between sensation and thought. For decades he has been hounded by the sense of a split self, as if under observation by a nameless double, and he feels that the opportune moment, if it can be found, will relieve him, just briefly, of this spectral presence.

Peter Holm Jensen’s début novel is a mercurial marvel of contemplative literature that at once adopts and dismantles the diarist’s form of expression. It is not a linear account of ordinary events, but a cyclical and recursive record of noticing the ways of the world. It does not tell the story of its narrator’s life, but opens up for him a quiet space in which to savour the changes of the seasons, the migration habits of birds, his connectedness to his partner, the fluctuations of his ineptitude and capabilities. But it is also not an environmentalist’s lyrical notebook, for its author feels the pains of precarity and indignity under neoliberalism, nor is it an account of stoic persistence in the face of daily adversity and aimlessness. It is, rather, an attempt to come to terms with the indifference of the forces within which we live — time, nature, globalisation — and to extract from this void of meaning something immanent, something true.

The Moment

In the murky aftermath of a breakdown, a man still at odds with himself takes flight to a cottage in rural Norfolk. There he intends to strip his life of everything trivial, everything superfluous, paring it all back to the essential truths, values, and experiences. In doing so, he keeps a fragmentary journal: not a record of progress as such, but sporadic notes on his new surroundings as he attends to minor changes in search of an ideal moment — a moment of unity between body and mind, in which there is no distinction between sensation and thought. For decades he has been hounded by the sense of a split self, as if under observation by a nameless double, and he feels that the opportune moment, if it can be found, will relieve him, just briefly, of this spectral presence.

The Moment

The Moment

Photos of my forthcoming book, published by Splice.

The Moment 1

The Moment 2

The Moment 3

The Moment back cover

The Moment

My book, The Moment, published by Splice, can be ordered here.