We have a beautiful, rather expensive wall clock that hangs in our living room, a souvenir I took back from a trip to Brighton last fall. It has a picture of a fish printed across it, surrounded by roman numerals, decorated with the kind of stamps you find on parcel deliveries, and the word ‘FISH’, just in case it wasn’t obvious enough what animal it was that you were looking at. The hands look like they could have come straight out of the V&A’s metalwork section, very delicate little things. (If you’re wondering why I don’t just put a picture in, it’s currently 10:21pm and there is absolutely no way I can get good lighting to take one in. Gotta stick with your imagination, bruvs).
Anyway, you get the picture. Its a lovely clock. There’s just one problem. It’s not working. It stopped about 2 weeks ago and in spite of a battery change, it continued ticking in a very promising manner but telling the wrong time altogether. We’ve sort of given up hope on it and have plain taken the batteries out, so it has just become another thing to ornament our otherwise oppressively bare walls with.
What this means for me is that whenever I’m at home and apart from my phone, I have no idea what the exact time is. At first, it was annoying, because I had to keep walking all over the place to pick my phone up and check the time (I refused to wear a watch around at home). Somehow or rather, I eventually got used to it, and now I actually enjoy not knowing what the exact time is. Sure, it means I run late on things sometimes, but the truth is I was already running late on everything even when the clock was working, so that didn’t change much. And strangely, my mind has adapted to become quite sensitive to the passing of time, so I can more or less estimate how much time has elapsed. I’ve discovered that you enjoy things far more when you don’t have to bear the pressure, subtle or great, of having to do them within the boundaries of a deadline. This morning, I sank into my beanbag by the window (both beanbags and full-length windows are definitely things that deserve full reviews in their own right) and devoured a few precious pages of Kinfolk; when I looked up and realised I didn’t know how much time had passed, I managed to feel peaceful instead of flustered, and that just made me enjoy the time so much more. Ironically, when you pull time apart from the numbers that we use to mark it, you are left with the simple, primal notion of time flowing in all its mysterious, undeviating constancy, a sentiment matchless in its melancholic sweetness.
Me Thinks: If you’re up for it, why not spend some time living without the exactitude of time? With the removal of that one, seemingly essential pressure, maybe you’ll find you’re able to devote yourself entirely to the things you do, and that both slows and stretches time in weird and wonderful ways.
Cheers (to clocks that stop!) x