‘I exist mostly to one side of time. Only in rare moments – for example, when I am with those I love or in times of great exuberance or when I am writing and the work is going well – do I feel in time, that I am where I am meant to be and utterly free from the wish to be anywhere else. The other times have the interference of discord, as though I were detained and that somewhere nearby, possibly in the next street, there is a desired encounter or event taking place, one from which, whether by coincidence or ignorance or bad luck, I am being excluded. The strange thing was that I never suffered this in Siena. Every day and for the entire month I spent there I felt myself to be in time. I woke up at the right moment and left the flat just at the perfect instant so as to encounter everything that unfurled before me. I never rushed or felt myself hurried by anything. Everything I experienced was happening at the pace at which it ought to happen.’

– Hisham Matar, A Month in Siena