A splendid paragraph

by Paul Burmeister

I have just begun a delicious read of Patricia Hampl's Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime (2006.) The writer and I have an experience in common: being stopped by Woman before an Aquarium, by Matisse, in the Chicago Art Institute.
This post copies out a paragraph from Blue Arabesque that also has stopped me. I am deeply interested in its subject of time, but even more I admire Hampl's writing. (The tricky business of analogy is managed nicely.)

"But just when did time, that diaphanous material, fray into rush? The way I imagined it, woolly minutes streamed across an eternity of spun-silk nanoseconds, piling up into hours that wove themselves into the voluminous yard goods of days that, in turn, got stitched into weeks and months. Wasn't that how it once was—the heavily embroidered yesteryears folded away in the scented armoires of the seasons, and consigned to the vast linen closet of the ages where the first tensile thread of our story on the planet emerged from the bobbin of history? But just when in all this warping and woofing—or maybe how—did time cease to be a treasure and turn, instead, into the fret of the drive time commute?"