When Do We Experience?

The Nobel Prize winning poet Louise Glück, in her poem “Nostos” writes: “We look at the world once, in childhood/The rest is memory.” Hyperbole, perhaps, but the point is stunningly valid: we do not look; we see only what we have told ourselves in advance is there to be seen.

And yet, the interplay of time and experience may be more subtle. Perhaps we see the world anew in every moment, but cover it up in that self-same moment. Instant by instant, we refuse to experience the joy that comes with each new seeing.