It’s something of a paradox. “Time Away from Time.” These special moments are constrained yet they feel as free as can be. They’re the very definition of “free time” but they’re boxed in.
One key example is time spent traveling between two very different places. Liminality at its best. Neither here nor there, between and betwixt, as if in a bubble of non-existence. In initiation rituals, it’d be the time when a sense of belonging is built, from shared experience. Alone, it’s a moment to reconnect with a forgotten self.
Marcel Aymé may have had these moments in mind, when he wrote The Ration Ticket («La carte» in Le passe-muraille). The paradox is particularly salient: freedom during France’s Occupation.
Time is often given more casually. During a daily commute. In a queue. Or, as today, by an unexpectedly early rise from bed.
Instead of being taken away from my sleep, this time was given away as a token of appreciation.
Thank you, life!