Jetzt, a German word that means ‘now’ but it sounds and looks a bit like ‘jets’.
‘Now’ or ‘jetzt’ might suggest the ever present moment and for some Germans (perhaps a Hegel or a Heidegger) they might suggest that we pause to think a little deeper about ‘being in time’. Let us imagine that ‘now’ is indeed a ‘jet’. We are passengers seated on a long journey, perhaps the dream destination of our lives. We put our feet up and rest in the knowledge that our safe flight has been measured and calibrated with pinpoint accuracy and we will arrive at our destination on ‘time’. This gives us peace of mind to relax. However, when we think about that something about ‘free will’ appears to gnaw at us inside as we realise we are trapped in a pressurised cabin at 20 000 feet (or a planet hurtling around the sun).
Closing our eyes, we tune into the sounds around us. We hear the hum of the jet engines, and perhaps we catch part of a conversation in a foreign language. There is always the ubiquitous disembodied cry of a baby and importantly the white noise of oxygen pumped around the fuselage. Concentrate hard on the rush of air. We hear it go in and out of phase. Imagine a strange Doppler effect as the sound travelling in the fuselage effected by any number of relative speeds. Yes the speed of sound can be measured but there is at this moment a symphony of infinite possibilities in this moment of being.
John Chrisstoffels has been involved in music and cinematography for over 30 years and presently is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts. His research into ‘transient places’ such as Aircraft Fuselages and Airport Terminals are central to his current DocFA thesis.