Freezing Time

La Voz de Galicia – September 9, 2022 →

Cristina PatoI listen to the sound of seconds on the clock, and I get the sense that they tick faster than normal. I close my eyes to see if I can get to sleep, but the hand seems to accelerate, and the more I try not to focus my attention on it, the more I am certain that time has picked up a different rhythm from my own. And then I begin to think about when was the last time that I felt the opposite, the last time I felt the slowness of seconds that don’t tick by and stagnant hours, and I try to see if I am capable of listening to time in real time. But I discover that I can’t, that for some reason, my time is in a rush, and that it’s not for me to calm it.

How curious is the feeling of trying to control one’s impression of time! Forward or backwards, there are some people who struggle against it often and others who navigate it naturally. And even though the pandemic has made us reflect about its value (and has made others radically change their lives), I continue to move between the rhythm I was in and the rhythm in which I currently am. Adapting to change takes time, its own time that has nothing to do with minutes nor hours, and that teaches us that we must learn to wait for it without measuring it.

Sometimes fast and sometimes slow, when I counted seconds in bed I thought about the magic of making time wait for us. In how beautiful it would be not having to be at its mercy and being able to freeze it by touching our fingers together (like they did in that American show from the 80s) when we realize that we are not feeling it the way we should. When we know that, even though we may not want to, we live either in the past or in the future, but not in this rather complex present that we can’t manage to avoid…

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