Untimely Matter and the Handkerchief

“If you take a handkerchief and spread it out in order to iron it, you can see in it certain fixed distances and proximities. If you sketch a circle in one area, you can mark out nearby points and measure far-off distances. Then take the same handkerchief and crumple it, by putting it in your pocket. Two distant points suddenly are close, even superimposed. If, further, you tear it in certain places, two points that were close can become very distant… As we experience time — as much as in our inner sense as externally in nature, as much as le temps of history as le temps of weather — it resembles this crumpled version much more than the flat, overly simplified one.” – Michel Serres

(Quoted in Jonathan Gil Harris’ “Untimely Matter” essay, section 22)