The stomach embodies one of biology's ways of measuring change. It is a clock. As a dependent entity, the stomach never measures change in isolation. It is heteronymous. Mechanical clocks, by contrast, measure time independently from external events. They are rigorously autonomous. This essay aims to restore stomach time to its proper role. It draws inspiration from the philosopher François Jullien's study of time in Chinese thought, and builds its case via an interpretation of two food-centered paintings: Millet's Angelus, and Hopper's, Nighthawks. The art works allow an exploration of two etymological trajectories giving rise to the senses of time. One, from the root *di, to divide, gives us the English "time." The other, from *ten, to stretch, gives us the Romance family of terms cognate with the Latin tempus. The first suggests that time is a series of instants constantly fading away. The second, more consistent with the Chinese approach, thinks of time as a cluster of opportunities surging toward us. When the former dominates completely, as in our world, a particular anxiety, chronomania, excessive fear of the wasted moment, becomes an existential accompaniment.
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