Far in the distance, canons were heard, shots that rumbled and boomed. The low slung clutter of buildings that was Batavia, which was to become the city of Djakarta in what is now Indonesia, soldiers were dispatched to look for the source of the fighting, their uniforms clinging in the humidity. It was not quite war, unbeknownst to the administration and others, Napoleon had escaped from Elba, and was making his way to Paris, but two decades of war had left too many marks, indeed Batavia was under British administration even though it was formally owned by the Dutch. But no fighting was found. It is the evening of April 5th, 1815, and across the sprawling archipelago that forms the barrier between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, thunder and detonation sounds are heard, on Borneo, on Sulawesi, on Bali.
It was the sound of a new world being born, in the explosive depths of a volcanic eruption. It is the begining of the way we now structure time, into pre- and post- and neo-, where an era is defined by what it is after, and what it is before, where moments are so powerful that everyone after must pay a rent in mind and society to them. However unreal that may be.
[Cross posted at corrente]