1440 minutes a day, 525 600 minutes a year, seem a lot of time. However often we have the feeling we miss every minute of them. Routine, boredom, stress, efficiency, but also extreme emotional states such as grief, angst and pain serve as our excuse for missing these minutes. So when do we not miss them, these minutes running through our fingers? How can we catch time?
Walter Benjamin criticised the conception of time as a chronological empty flow, the ticking of a clock reflected in a historiography that adds one event after the other, one king after the other without accounting of the tensions, conflicts and attractions that led from one king to another. He instead tried to grasp moments where time comes to a standstill, in revolutions, but also in very personal revolutionary moments, such as split seconds that they freezes an image, an atmosphere, an emotion to grasp our attention and change our behaviour.
Remarkably, in some languages the word for time is synonymous with the word for weather: “temps” in French, “tempo” in Italian. We feel the time when we feel the weather on our skin. And I think we shouldn’t just think of it in a spiritual or even esoteric dimension, but we should rather think of the materiality of weather along with its movement and changes that manifest themselves on us… rain on our face, leaves wet sticky wisp of hair on it, sun on our body, warms our limbs, cold humidity creeps up through the sleeves of our coats. The more time we pass inside hermetic secured rooms and buildings the less we feel the weather but also the time. Now to pass time outside does not only mean to confront oneself with weather, but to take risks, to expose oneself to insecure territory, to make experiences and this is when we grasp a moment of time, a twinkle of a sometimes stormy, sometimes soothing minute.