Time measured

Because I know that time is always time And place is always and only place” -T.S. Elliot (Ash Wednesday)


The human construct of time has always placed us as humans within a situation of ambivalence with regard to its influence on our lives. Everything is measured in the parameters of time. Time is either placed in a box or compartmentalised, or time is running free, or out of control. We never seem to be happy or content with time as it is at the moment. We want it different. We have diverse approaches to time when travelling the uncharted road of life:

  • Time stood still for me (the moment of impact).
  • I wish this moment to pass/or go faster/or just disappeared.
  • I cannot wait for the time to arrive (in anticipation to a possible test result).
  • Not now, maybe tomorrow (limited energy/feeling unwell).
  • I relive that moment so often, even after six months (a remembrance, good or bad).
  • What a glorious moment! (Jubilation on reaching a goal).
  • I wish this coming week would pass quickly (some unpleasantness lies ahead).
  • Today, a year ago… (The anniversary of an event). 
  • There are still (only) two treatments/sessions/appointments left!

We seem to move either forward or backward within a continuous flow of time. We ride time like a surfer rides the waves, and often time, like the waves, breaks into fragments that disappear into the eternity. But admit the surge we constantly yearn to return to our life as previously experienced, gather the fragments and rebuild the broken puzzle. We do not want to turn again, only get to the end.

Thinking back to the moment of impact (trauma/crisis) and retracing the steps of time and how time was measured initially in small quantities and later stretched into larger quantities – you would surely recognise just how intrinsically this journey was in fact a journey through the different measurements of time.

We always seem to be in a hurry wishing this particular moment to pass, hoping the next one to be better. But all moments flow into each other creating a confluence, and within this conglomeration the moment unites with the person and we are constantly being re-created into the next, carried forward. Our support therefore on this journey ultimately lies within the time as measured by us without being fully aware of the significance and the contribution of each separate moment.

Written by Dr Magda Rall.

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