Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Timekept timekeepers

I journeyed to London,
to the timekept City

--from "The Rock"
T. S. Eliot


I once read a novel where the main character got so frustrated with time that he tore out the hands of a clock. But the clock kept ticking anyway! Shortly after graduating from college, I developed the habit of being late for work. Even during college I was often late for classes. I would constantly look at my watch and race against it to be "on time."

One day my wristwatch fell into the dish washing sink. It was not waterproof. Thereafter, I lived without a wristwatch. Soon I discovered that I did not need a wristwatch. Clocks were everywhere. Banks had signs flashing the current temperature and time. The radio announcers told the time on the hour. There were clocks in supermarkets, offices, and classrooms. Most people had wristwatches.

I stopped being late after my wristwatch drowned in dish washing waters. I discovered that I did not have to race the clock as I just adjusted down my expectations of what I could do in ten or fifteen minutes. I began to realize exactly what I could do between two events, I began to feel like I had more time. I used to look for “a spare 10 minutes” in my watch, and fill up that time with something rather than going to my appointment – naturally, I could not do all those things. I am a human being not a computer slicing nanoseconds. I became in touch with my natural time rather than just clock time.

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