Time - El Reloj - KalamazooSaturday, April 25, 2020
Del lat. tempus.
1. m. Duración de las cosas sujetas a mudanza.
2. m. Magnitud física que permite ordenar la secuencia de los sucesos, estableciendo un pasado, un presente y un futuro, y cuya unidad en el sistema internacional es el segundo.
3. m. Parte de la secuencia de los sucesos.
4. m. Época durante la cual vive alguien o sucede algo. En tiempo de Trajano. En tiempo del descubrimiento de América.
The Real Academia Española (RAE) dictionary has spectacularly strange ways of defining words. Let me translate how they define time:
1: Male noun. Duration of things subject to being moved.
2. Male noun. Physical magnitude which enables to order a sequence of events happenings, establishing a past, a present and a future, and whose international unity is the second.
3. m. A part of a sequence of events.
4. m. En epoch in which someone lives or something happens. During Trajan’s time The time when America was discovered.
By now in this virtual lockdown my Rosemary are living a predictable pattern of events that differs little from one day to the next. By the time we we are on our comfortable bed by around 10:30 with books and newspapers at hand and Niño and Niña accompanying us (usually snoozing) I tell Rosemary (now it is a shaggy dog type of habit), “Five minutes ago it was yesterday.” Or when I slowly sit down into my hot bath, before that, I say, “I will be doing this five minutes from now.”
In 1959 in our before-lunch English class at St. Edward’s High School in Austi, Texas, the clock behind Brother Cyriac, C.S.C. seemed to be broken. It did not move. Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. in our religion class might have told us, “That’s what hell really is. You don’t need fire to suffer.”
In 1986 I purchased a battery-powered Timex with an exterior case of titanium. Since then, at the most I have replaced the battery five times. I never take it off. It goes into the tub and I swim with it. It was sometime around 1990 that while taking a hot bath I noticed that every once in a while the second hand would stop. But this did not seem to affect the accuracy of the watch. And looking closely it seemed like the second hand was going in the opposite direction. For a very short period of time I imagined that on my wrist I had a time machine. Time stopped and went backwards!
El Reloj (sung by Los Panchos trio and Los Tres Caballeros, links at the top of this blog)
Clock do not mark the hours
Reloj no marques las horas
Because i'm going crazy
Porque voy a enloquecer
She will be gone forever
Ella se ira para siempre
When it dawns again
Cuando amanezca otra vez
We only have tonight
Nomas nos queda esta noche
To live our love
Para vivir nuestro amor
And your tick tock reminds me
Y tu tic-tac me recuerda
My hopeless pain
Mi irremediable dolor
Stop your way Clock
Reloj detén tu camino
Because my life goes out
Porque mi vida se apaga
She is the star
Ella es la estrella
That illuminates my being
Que alumbra mi ser
I am nothing without his love
Yo sin su amor no soy nada
Stop the time in your hands
Deten el tiempo en tus manos
Make this night perpetual
Haz esta noche perpetua
So that it never leaves me
Para que nunca se vaya de mi
So that it never dawns
Para que nunca amanezca
Songwriters: Roberto Cantoral Garcia
El reloj lyrics © Peermusic Publishing
The song above was popular in Mexico and in Mexico City where I was living. It is a lovely song with an interesting story:
Cantoral composed the song in 1956, in Washington D.C., in front of the Potomac River, at the end of a Los Tres Caballeros's tour of the United States. During the tour he had had an affair with one of the girls participating in the show, who should return to New York the next morning. This love episode, and the presence of a lounge clock during their last meeting, were the events that triggered the inspiration of Cantoral, which would soon turn this episode, relatively trivial, into the story of a deep love.
Los Tres Caballeros premiered the song in 1957 and it was an immediate success. Since then, it has been versioned by countless interpreters, in several languages.
Every once in a while, these days I ask Rosemary or she asks me, "Will we be alive to travel when this is all over?"
I have in my calendar that my Rosemary and I should be at the American Hosta Society Convention in Kalamazoo in June 2021. Who knows?