timed into consciouslessness

Ann-Sophie Barwich
2 min readJun 28, 2023

Consciousness needs a little bit of noise. While I listen to metal rattling in the distance, the dog’s paws on the wooden floor, and a single fly swinging its body repeatedly against the dirty window in hope of freedom, I follow my mind to its own sense of self. A self that thinks itself into a dazzling frenzy without having thoughts, it seems. How often do I think my thoughts? I sit in waiting for a clearer thought from myself. My back pinches its presence into the moment. My body desires to flee from the now. My shoulders move side to side, my hands trying to find another thing to do. Scratch face — open emails. Get lost in the to-do. The black body of the fly further hammering the point of its entire being against the dirty glass. I catch my hands escaping thinking by doing. Where was I?

I have timed myself into a stream of consciouslessness. With every day being houred, segmented into discrete blocks of things that need doing by one day or the other, and streamlined more and more of the incoming “I need” and “I want” and “can you,” I have lost the ability to move to the cadence of my own sense of life. I need time to find back to my time. I once had it. When I was a child. Before growing old.

What does one do with such insight? My feet, ready to stand up, follow my ever-fleeing mind in its fragrant desire for tea. I hardly ever drink tea. The phone lights up. Why does it lie next to me? Why is it in sight? Brimbing, brumbing, the air conditioner breaks into this conversation that begins to circle back into routine. Screen on. Screen off. And hours seem to have gone by. I feel called upon by the whimsical will of others. Like ghouls, they draw me, one by one, into a need for depth that is just never being fulfilled. Day by day, I feel full without having eaten. I really need to get out of my own head.

And with a shy blush of foresight into my skull, the blood rushes as it follows a plan being birthed. Each day, let me explore a thought on a part of the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Drawn back to the now of human life by a man who lived and died almost two thousand years ago (generously rounded up, and I said almost). Perhaps, a subtler thought occurs, this idea has been biding its time in the backseat of my mind for days.

Whatever brought it to the driver’s seat now, I shall pursue.