• Shana Ritter

Unfolding Time

Ever notice how an hour in the morning – say between 9 and 10 can pass by in minutes, and an hour in the late afternoon say between 3:30 and 4:30 takes twice as long? A Sunday morning has a different set of clocks than Friday evening. A Saturday night in June and a Saturday night in November actually have different lengths. The time of moonlight changes, as does daylight. Time is only relative, and yet we measure it in fixed allocations.

Remember the paper folding game we did as children, the fortune teller, salt cellar, whirly bird, cootie catcher…… pick a color, pick a letter, find an answer. Time feels that same way to me, as something hidden under folds of paper, relative to the question you are asking and dependent on the people you are surrounded with when you are asking the questions.

How can we compare the hours it takes to cook a meal for friends to those of cleaning up afterwards, waiting in line outside on a spring day to waiting in line underground in the dark, the time it takes to kiss someone for the first time to the last kiss, the one before you walk away. How can we compare the hours of labor to the last hours of living?

Certainly the second hand moves differently, the minutes count themselves in different rhythms, the season transforms the span of the hour. We fold and unfold past and future. We hold time lightly in one hand while it weighs down the other.


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