Katherine Knight, I became unconscious

[Fall 1996]

by Katherine Knight

Looking down I saw that my left trouser leg was burned off. I pulled the rip cord of my parachute and checked my descent with a jerk. About twenty feet above the water I attempted to undo my parachute, failed and flopped into the sea with it billowing around me.

It was unlikely that anyone on shore saw me go down and even more unlikely that a ship would come by. Instead I lay back and reviewed my position. I was a long way from land. I was going to die. It came to me like that. I was going to die and oddly enough I was not afraid. This realization came as a surprise. I felt only a profound curiosity and a satisfaction that within a few minutes or a few hours, I would find the answer to the question civilization never solved.

I decided it should be in a few minutes. I had no qualms about hurrying things along. Reaching up I managed to unscrew the valve of my life jacket. The air escaped in a rush and my head went under water. I swallowed a large quantity of water before my head came up again. I tried again but found I couldn’t get my face under. I lay back exhausted and then I started to laugh. I remember hearing someone shout as if in a dream It seemed so far away quite far way, quite unconnected. A voice said, “Okay Joe! One of ours and still kicking.” I was neither relieved nor angry. I was past caring.

Now living in Toronto,Katherine Knight is interested in memory and the tricks we play with it to make it fit the models of the hour. In this portfolio, the artist also takes us into her deep reflections on the state of beingwhere notions of time and the present clash.