The time of friends

Friends operate on their own time.  The time they spend together cannot be estimated by calendars and schedules since they walk together at the unique pace of their friendship.

When friends communicate, the time they share expands.  It grows flexible and malleable.  It spreads, moving outside all measurement.  The friends’ moves determine its size, their pulses its duration.

When sharing parts of our lives with great friends, we do not become oblivious to time.  Friendship is not an overpowering bliss that takes us out of history to soak us in ecstasy.  It is an intensification of history, and that is why its proceedings seem to take a long time.  When we are enjoying the grand company of friends, we do know that time is passing but do not care because, no matter how long it takes, we can always accommodate it in our day.  The time of friends overrules all time scales.

Our usual live or virtual conversation with Dr. Pantelis Polychronidis, my other self, lasts three to four hours since, in addition to news and sentiments, it includes recent discoveries, new ideas, personal projects, collaborative plans, silent reflection, and ample room for staring in mutual admiration, the contemplation of our blessed togetherness.  As Pantelis likes to say, “Right now, I would rather be here with you than anywhere else.”  While we converse, we are aware that time is passing, and we mark its flight in different ways, but we don’t mind since we are also creating our own time, carved out of the public one, a time that sets the tone for the internal history of our friendship.

When we get together with a friend, we enter a very special chronos/space of time, a periodic one, the rhythmic return of our friendship.  We slow down and sit back, marveling at being once again at-tuned and also affirming our shared future.  The immanent time of friends is not a measuring of meter but a rhythming of refrain.

30 April 2020

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