Time I came to know intimately as never before. It was not the time with which I had previously had dealings, a time metaphorphosed into work, love, effort of every kind, a time I had accepted unthinkingly because it so discreetly hid behind my actions. Now it came to me stripped, just as it is, in its true and original form, and it forced me to call it by its true name (for now I was living sheer time, sheer empty time) so as not to forget it for a moment, keep it constantly before me, and feel its weight.
When music plays, we hear the melody, forgetting that it is only one of the modes of time; when the orchestra falls silent, we hear time; time itself. I was living in a pause. Not in an orchestra's general pause (whose length is clearly determined by a specific sign in the musical score), but in a pause without a determinded end.
-- Milan Kundera, The Joke