Britta Benson – About time / The phonecall

About time

Time makes a strange bed fellow and the most fickle of companions. How is it even possible that we’re in September 2021, when my heart and soul are still not so patiently waiting for spring 2020, my fiftieth birthday? Did I blink? Did I miss something?

Thunderstorms are in the offing this morning. The horizon looms Mordor grey and the atmosphere buzzes so full of electricity, I can hear it fizz like sparkling water. I’ve armed myself with a leadlike espresso that would make any Milanese barista whimper and beg for mercy. I sip this irresponsibly brewed rocket fuel in teensy little catmouthfulls, hoping to persuade, or rather fool my inners that this is the finest ambrosia and therefore good for me. It might be beneficial after all – if I live to tell the tale. I feel the need for giddiness, for the butterfly wings of my soul to palpitate and flutter like there’s no tomorrow. I could blame the imminent thunderstorms and the electric air, but I know it’s just my nature.

Rain tries hard to beat some sense into my window panes, but they remain stubborn things, like the creature hiding behind them, her hands clutching a mug in utter defiance. I can see nature die a little more with every day that passes. Leaves burst out in vibrant colours, that’s their way of handing in their notice before losing the will to hang on. Green takes a back seat, gets shoved out of the way more and more, or covered by fallen foliage and bruised fruit. I enjoy the unhurried peace of this slow, autumnal decay. Every leaf seems to have a right time for letting go, the perfect moment for moving on. I like the casual precision. To be a leaf – what a beautiful career choice!

I’m afraid, it’s slightly more complicated on the human side of affairs. Time, supposedly, can be measured in exact beats. I think, that’s a con. Clocks lie unashamedly. No scientist on this planet can convince me, that a second is a second is a second, always exactly the same length.

How could it possibly be? Sometimes a second is a first or a third, maybe even a hundredth. Time quite happily jumps in and out, forwards and backwards or off piste altogether. Not even my digestion can keep track of it.

Then, there’s the problem of time zones. Sometimes my soul is stuck in the past, while my heart still tries to beat a drum in the present and I can tell you, this is quite a stretch. I’m good at yoga, but this, quite frankly, is something else. Then again, muscles need to be flexed in order to function to their full potential, to get stronger. My melancholy and wildly imaginative soul stretches far and wide, into pasts and futures, all sorts of memories, real and dreamt of, indiscriminately. I just have to make sure, that I also spend enough time in the present and perhaps not too long in the conditional. I’m not a great fan of ‘I would’ and prefer ‘I was’, ‘I am’ and ‘I will be’.

This is where my quadruple espresso comes in. Keeps me here, in the present, anchored by a mug for a while. Looking out to my autumn garden, I can see nature change in front of my eyes. Another leaf instinctively knows that it’s the right time to go. No big deal. It’s just a journey and there’s plenty of time. No tick, no tock, no nonsense.

Britta Benson


The phone call


in that sweet spot

when days fall off cliffs

and souls can wander on any given cloud,

we chat forever.

Neither of us rang.

We meet out of time,

I’m five, I’m twenty, fifty one.

I hear you smile patiently,

as my heart leans against yours

for a goodnight kiss across worlds.

Then, the alarm goes off,

lights on, and the line is dead.

We, however,

we’re still smiling.

Published by Ian

Music maker and story teller.

6 thoughts on “Britta Benson – About time / The phonecall

  1. Oh Britta,
    I really enjoyed your story. It pulled me in. Also,
    Your poem, I totally got that! You put into words some of us are lucky enough to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Britta, I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed the product of ‘your wildly imaginative soul’ and your virtuoso use of English.(Maybe as a non-native speaker i relish your writing even more.)
    Here in Asturias autumn is not yet in the offing. So I suppose you are writing from a more northerly latitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely loved both your contributions, both restrained, well paced, full of vivid imagery and complexity. Never regret being wildly imaginative. It will stand you in good stead always, especially as you’re physically beginning to be less strong and flexible. And if you are doing yoga regularly that will be a long, long time.x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your nice comment. I often think of writing as yoga for the brain, bending, flexing, creating shapes and structures. That way, when physical yoga becomes harder, I’ll still get plenty of exercise, one way or another. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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