Elastic, solid, liquid, smoke


What is time, really?

Time creeps by on leaden feet. The clock ticks slow, only two thirty, hours before the end of work. The longest sixty seconds is the one minute one legged plank, the last minute of the push-ups. Muscles burn and waver and protest. That breathless moment before the rollercoaster drops, stretches in anticipation.

Then there are times that fly past, barely grasped. The kiss you longed for, the holiday you saved for, joys and pleasures that fizz on the tongue like a sublime taste of heaven. And then… gone.

It’s all relative, someone said. It’s all about perspective. It’s all subjective, no matter what the atomic clock tells us. We feel time is different, in different spaces, inside or outside our heads. We buy and spend, win and lose, waste and save time. Yet we also know, in our hearts, those spaces where we hide uncomfortable truths, that we do no such thing. Time spends us. We hurtle through life locked in a fourth dimension over which we have no control, save to alter our own perception of it.

This was one of the longer weeks of my life. Time did not dance by and leave me smiling. Time ambushed me, held me down while events rolled over my head, an unwelcome tsunami of bad news stories. It did not let me escape.

Sometimes everything changes in a flash. Sometimes there comes a lightning bolt that does not fade, with the sure knowledge of thunderclaps and raging storms to follow, all at once and never ending, no mercy, time stretched on and pain sparking every nerve, and when will it all end?

In a minute. In a minute is a lifetime, and no time at all.

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