About the Time
Time Zone. Five intercontinental travel in six months, even if the time zone is not huge two hours three hours back and forth have their effect. When I go back to Italy from Pakistan and the Emirates I sleep for a whole day; if the stop over is in Dubai there are two hours difference with Pakistan and one with Italy; but if I stop to Doha there is an extra hour. So always I wrong the time boarding and at night no longer I recognize the bed where I sleep, and I always put my feet on the wrong side.
To stop and not being able to do that, maybe it is becoming a disease. The time zone also limits my relations with the other continent: three hours make a difference if you go to bed at midnight, you want to chat but who is on the other side already deeply asleep; by contrast, when you wake up, on your phone display many good morning appear.
Time and culture. Every culture has its time. In the country where I live now I have not yet learned that an appointment made is not certain. With my friend T., who I love so much, the only reason to fight is constituted by its miss meetings, change your chosen destination, leave the town without saying goodbye and then reappeared, surprising. One evening he, who is much more calm and patient with me, told me to cope with my fury, that the West and the East (let’s say some parts of the Islamic world) have two different approaches to time: our one – he says- is a scroll through the arc of time without being able to change: from an early age we started to become muslims, our mothers are choosing us to study and girlfriends, we do children and we work, thing hard to change. On the other hand, our daily time rebels ourselves: we change places, we decide to go to dinner with friends and then we will choose others, or we find some of them along the way who follow us; we leave, we arrive, we have lunch and dinner hours and that one can be repeated indefinitely. You, however, are masters of your life, you choose your studies, get married and divorce, you live freely the sex. But you are a slave of everyday life: punctuality, traffic, leisure and pleasure are marked by the same strict watch. This conversation took place a few months ago, I still think every day on it, I try to understand and grasp the good from both sides, but if he comes late still I get angry. The time – what a moment – takes us away.
The time of the return. When I get home, time gets shorter: between the arrival and the new departure there is a week. I can hardly do the laundry, not even undo the suitcase, step over bags and shoes scattered on the floor, so then I have to go back, I say to myself. But if I look for a moment in the garden, the plant that I did not pay attention, the cat that I have not brushed, lemons that I have not had time to collect I bring an infinite sadness. I feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I never have time. Friends and family call me, send messages, when we meet for a dinner we put the time in a centrifuge to be able to say everything. Calls that I am not able to do are the last before turning off the phone because then it takes off.
You cannot control the time, is the thought that I am trying to make my own. Marguerite Yourcenar writes in The time, great sculptor: “Your body is made up three-quarters of water, plus a little of terrestrial minerals, a little punch. And this great flame in you that are not familiar with the nature. And in your lungs, taken and retaken continuously inside the rib cage, air, oxygen, this beautiful stranger, without which you can not live”. Anything else?