'Time is too slow for those who wait.'


What of waiting is burdensome and lumbering?

If the time of waiting is slow, is it because it has weight?


What weight can waiting possibly have? In having weight, the form of a specific time is defined as waiting. In waiting, weight is understood as a period of slowness.

This type of waiting is not a pause, not a momentary respite, but formed of heaviness and endurance.


Kundera claims that memory demands that form be imposed on a period of time, 'for what is formless cannot be grasped, cannot be committed to memory.' If waiting was fleeting and light, it would be something else: perhaps more of a feeling than a form.


When waiting approaches lightness, discarding its weight and its want, waiting becomes desire.

tick tock


With weight, waiting is like wanting; heavy and desperate. Calvino speaks of removing 'weight' from the structure of stories and from language in order to attain lightness.


Calvino is playful in his treatment of lightness: 'as melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness, so humour is comedy that has lost its bodily weight.'


In writing of weight Calvino might well be writing about waiting as a time when 'the entire world was turning into stone: a slow petrification, more or less advanced depending on people and places but one that spared no aspect of life.'


And in order to alleviate the burden and the suspense, so that the period of waiting is abeyed. In waiting, as in weight, one becomes aware of the slowness, 'the inertia, the opacity of the world'.


1. Milan Kundera, Slowness, Faber and Faber

2. Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Picador