In the famous short story by Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle, the main character, an homonym for further sings, slumbers in the woods only to wake up the next morning, 20 years older. Rip Van Winkle was evidently nice and a good person, but things are sad since has lost a great portion of his life to unconsciousness. The important part is not the twenty year lapse in a lifetime, but the lack of certainty regarding what happened to that time. Lost time, without any experience nor remembrances, and yet Rip Van Winkle is just twenty years older.
The new routine quickly emerges, cyclic, repetitive. As with the main character of the famous 80´s movie “Groundhog Day”, where every day turns in to the same that, on the daily, is repeated with little to no variation
Daily life and his routine configure our perception of time. We commonly individualize days bases on our actions and the spaces where these actions are performed: the family, the job, the breaks, the gym, the movies, etc. And these spaces and facts configure and nuance the days, weeks, seasons, years and our complete existence.
With the lockdown, the first thing to potentially disappear is the barrier between public and private. Then, if one is lucky enough to carry out labor in a job that can be done from home, one may be capable of organizing one´s free time to carry out certain basic and daily activities in the domestic space; if such is not the case, a drastic reduction in activities will afflict the daily order for the confined. Anyhow, for some and others, isolation supposes a rupture with the daily order and although a certain pleasure or comfort derived of living in a kind of vacation without an expiration date of sorts is to be found in isolation, a certain monochromatic repetition of the daily activity constructs a new order little by little and thus, a new perception of time arises, where days alarmingly start to become similar.
The new routine quickly emerges, cyclic, repetitive. As with the main character of the famous 80´s movie “Groundhog Day”, where every day turns in to the same that, on the daily, is repeated with little to no variation.
Given the apparent eternal repetition, some try to introduce new dynamics to make some sense and allow for time to be differentiated, since the failure to achieve this supposes and suggests the failure of memory, suggests waking up twenty years later without any experiences, older and without any memory. As a Rip Van Winkle of sorts, that didn´t slumber, but with results happen to be the same: a being without memories, except for those bred previous the slumber-confinement. And as memorable beings, the other possibility to control and make sense as time goes by and its apparent repetition, is precisely to tame time by using memories. Evoking turns into an order apprehension strategy in light of the lack of the latter, at least as we know and experiment it before the situation of exceptionality confinement supposes.
As an indirect consequence of the search for an order through memories nostalgia for the time lived arises, but not for this misshapen and lacking of apparent logic time, but for the one belonging to the people and facts that have marred our vital existence. The quest for an order goes through memory, this is transmuted in nostalgia that is then invigorated in an attempt to recover what composes us as individuals.
Daily life and his routine configure our perception of time. We commonly individualize days bases on our actions and the spaces where these actions are performed
As time goes by during the confinement, contact opportunities grow, unexpected phone calls to former friends and relatives, the search for people with important meaning in that other life… the letters in glass bottles tossed in the sea that try to recover affections, if not lost, distant or in a distant space from that of the affections. In other instances, as an endeavor to reconstitute what should or could have been and wasn´t. The new order supposes in a sense the vanishing of the one before it, and in the passage to it a new makeup of the evoked can emerge, an attempt to reassemble-recover what defines us as people.
Another alternative that emerges from the evocation as a strategy to recover the lost order appears just on the opposite side, and it´s the possibility of reinvention, not just of a new order, but of a new Me. And though seductive, this possibility of reinvention embeds a little being that, like the virus, will multiply to fill the entirety of the host body, until it inhabits us in full as a society. This new being is called fear.
As time goes by during the confinement, contact opportunities grow, unexpected phone calls to former friends and relatives, the search for people with important meaning in that other life… the letters in glass bottles tossed in the sea that try to recover affections
Is Physical anthropologist from the national school of anthropology and history (ENAH) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Valencia. Interested in human evolution and our relationship with primates. Convinced that the highest form of knowledge is the result of the interaction between science, philosophy and art.