Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

About Time.

Every year, as I am changing the million or so clocks in our house to accommodate...I have no idea, any more, why we bother...I think about time. Pardon me, about Time.

What an interesting construct, is Time. Entirely human in design and implementation, because no other creature that we've met so far has anything like it.

The wild things simply know "now" and "not now".

Wolves are a fine example of now-mindedness, creatures who have a sense of tomorrow but no worry or fear of it. They have now. If they are hungry now, they hunt and eat now. If tired, sleep. They know, as do all wild creatures, that hungry and weary will occur again and again, but they don't let it fuss them.

Humans do all the worrying, don't we? We often wish we could go back some measure of Time and change something we said, or did, or something someone else said or did. We speculate on what it would be like to go into the future. Go far enough and we'll end up viewing the end days of the Universe. And, concurrently, the beginning.

I like to think that I live a largely Timeless life. Unless I have an appointment or something that requires me to be on time, I don't pay attention to the minutes, the hours. I rise when I wake, and that's got more to do with when I go to sleep than anything else. I dine when hungry, not by the clock. Day and night are measured, for me, by light and dark, by sun and moon. I don't swim in the river of Time, I float along with the current and enjoy the journey. Well, for the most part. Life being what it is, sometimes I am forced to be aware of the Time. I know how long it takes to get to any of my usual destinations at any given time of day, so I know what time I have to leave the house. I keep a calendar handy when I make appointments, write them down the instant I've made them, make sure to check once or twice a week to see if I need to be mindful of the Time.

When I wake in the morning, just about the first thing I think is "Today is (whatever the day is) and I have xyz to do today. Then sometimes I go back to sleep for a bit, and sometimes I get up and get busy.

I don't need an alarm clock - I tell myself when I need to be up, and I am awake at that hour without fail.

For all that I ignore Time, I like clocks. I loved waking up on Sundays at my grandparent's house and listening to my grandfather wind the clocks. The brass ship's clock from his grandfather's boat in the front hall, a Rococo ceramic monstrosity of a mantle clock in the living room, and one simple wooden mantle clock in the sitting room. That ratcheting noise carried throughout the house. The clocks would toll the hour with bells and chimes, the ship's clock being the best sounding in my opinion. The simple wooden Seth Thomas clock was next in my favor - that's the clock I brought home with me after he died, the brass clock going by family tradition to my uncle. The Rococo horror could have gone to the devil for all I cared - it was possibly the ugliest clock I ever clapped eyes on and it belonged to my grandmother.

I still wind the Seth from time to time, just to hear it chime. It wants servicing if it's to run properly and actually keep the time, but I don't really need it for that.

The scope and range of inventions for measuring time are staggering. You can buy anything from a two-dollar wristwatch to one valued at thousands or even tens of thousands.
Hour glass?

Or grandfather clock?

Wall, shelf, or mantle clock? Case, anniversary, digital, or analog? Gold, silver, steel, plastic? Is it going under water? How deep? Up a mountain? How high? Do you want a calendar, calculator, pedometer with that? Take your pick! Perhaps a water-clock is just the thing.

I sometimes carry a silver and steel pocket watch that belonged to T's grandmother, because I enjoy the simplicity and elegance of the piece. Also, it has blue hands. It doesn't have the hunter case (that neat flip-open cover), but it's pretty sturdy and keeps good time when I remember to wind it. I prefer the analog to the digital, because there's just something comfortable about the ticking.
I know people who are entirely caught up in the idea of Time - they carry a watch, have a clock on their phone, designate every minute of every day. They don't like my drifting tomfoolery. As I typed that, I laughed, because I can be a little retentive about timeliness.

When I actually consent to be a part of the life of Time, when I must be somewhere at a designated hour, I am there. I do not like being late, nor do I tolerate well the lateness of others. Especially when I live far from my destination and they live near. Even after I had the Evils Genius, I wasn't late. I had to adjust my own plans to be on time for others, and I did. If I can be on time, then so can they!

Tardiness is rude. Considering that I am one of the rare folk in my group of friends and associates who is ever actually on time, I have had to learn to let go of my ire, and even be manipulative of others. Tell them our meeting time is half-an-hour earlier than it is and they'll show up just on time, certain they're late and not very convincingly apologetic about it. Also, I bring yarn and a crochet hook and try not to seethe when poor planning on another's part means I have to wait. It's not always easy though - I have knee-jerk negative response to blatant, habitual rudeness.

All in all, I would prefer to live a timeless life. It's much less stressful. The only real moment we experience, anyway, is now.


david santos said...

Hi, Kidrynn!
Excllent posting. You are master.
Thank you and have a good day

foolery said...

. . . which works very well when self-employed or working from the home, and less well when working by a clock for others. I do the latter, and not living by the clock is largely frowned upon.

I agree with you -- I love clocks! -- and I agree with Mr. Santos, that you are a master. Have a wonderful week with not so much snow!

-- Laurie

p.s. Bonus points for using tomfoolery in a sentence, and correctly, no less.

Kyddryn said...

Well thanks, y'all - you are too kind!

I never did well in the corporate world, so being a writer, singer/songwriter, home schooling, hippie-type mum is working out nicely for me. If I had to go back to working by the clock, I'd probably take a night job, something late and mostly solitary.

I'd rather someone pay me to write, though. Any takers??