Sometimes it is hard to write in English when you’ve been talking to your great-grandmother on the phone but she is also your niece, and in her language there are no separate words for time and space. In her kinship system every three generations there is a reset in which your grandparents’ parents are classified as your children, an eternal cycle of renewal. In her traditional language she asks you something that translates directly into English as ‘what place’ but actually means ‘what time’, and you reluctantly shift yourself into that paradigm, because you know it will be hard as hell to shift back out of it again when you go back to work. Kinship moves in cycles, the land moves in seasonal cycles, the sky moves in stellar cycles and time is so bound up in those things that it is not even a separate concept from space. We experience time in a very different way from people immersed in flat schedules and story-less surfaces. In our spheres of existence, time does not go in a straight line, and it is as tangible as the ground we stand on.
Tyson Yunkaporta, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World