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  • Writer's pictureOmer Eilam

A tale of two sisters

Being and becoming were born to an upper middle class family somewhere in Europe. They were very much alike in terms of their beliefs, their humour, their political views and even their musical tastes. But in one respect they were very different, and that was in the way they experienced the passage of time.

Not able to go out of their heads they were never fully aware of this in spite of some clear indications. For example, while Being could devote her entire day to a single activity Becoming was always multitasking. When they reached their Thirties Being was happy with her chosen career as a teacher while Becoming already lived what could have been several lives, or rather summaries of lives, as a sportswoman, a scientist and an artist. And when they talked to each other Becoming was always the outspoken one while Being tried to follow, and if Being was talking Becoming frequently lost her patience or started thinking about other things. But these facts, as much as they seem instructive, nevertheless failed to make them realize the chasm that lay between them.

That realisation happened suddenly and in the middle of a conversation they had about meditation which both of them were practising. Becoming asked Being: “when you meditate how long does it take before a thought passes through your mind?” Being contemplated for a while before answering “a few minutes”. Becoming was flabbergasted. She could not remember a time when her mind was blank for more than a few seconds. She could not even imagine what it would be like to stay in a state of ‘no thought’ for as much as half a minute. That experience was as foreign to her as the experience of flying!

Later that day Becoming was reminded of the Theory of Relativity; how there is no such thing as Absolute Time, and that time passes differently for two different individuals depending on their speed of movement with respect to each other. She even read some modern physicists suggesting that our entire notion of Time as a physical entity is altogether false, and that Time might just be a part of our human experience.

As Becoming was contemplating these notions she became sad. Thinking of all the people that walk the earth, how difficult it is to relate to one another when each person is operating at a different speed and experiences the flow of time in a different way. And then she thought of her sister and how she longed to be more like Being and how she longed for Being to become more like her. And she wondered if the love that she felt for her sister could ever bridge the chasm between them.

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