Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Time On My Hands -- Or On My Wrists

My alarm clock broke. Not my clock radio which blasts the days' horrors into my ears before my mind can even grasp the reality of a new day much less the world's current dilemma. My old wind up put me to sleep with its ticking alarm clock whose clattering in my head ring I almost always avoided by waking up in time to shut it off before it actually went off.
We humans have an interesting relationship with time. We kill it. We waste it. And then as we run out of it we try to buy it.
Years before my most recent time piece demise, my wristwatch stopped working. Must have been the battery since it had no capacity for winding. I decided then and there to stop marking the passage of time by strapping it to my wrist. At first this decision seemed radical. The people in my life who care passionately about my well being expressed concern. I braved forward and became immediately amazed at how seldom we are out of eyesight of a timepiece. And if all else fails, I have learned to uncharacteristically simply ask someone, whether or not I know the person, for the correct time. No one to date has failed to provide me with the time of day. The response is an automatic glance at the wrist and a quick, as though time were flying which of course it is, update as to the time of day.
I have not once missed wearing a wristwatch.
On the other hand, I miss my alarm clock with its uncanny ability to lose five minutes out of every twenty-four hours and its need for daily setting and winding. Alarm clocks can be very comforting except when they give that 'click' warning that they are about to shatter sleep.
Even then, the sound of a wind up alarm is never catastrophic news of the collapse of a bank or of a belief or of the world. It's just the same old predictable and irritating noise for which come tomorrow morning I shall yearn.


Miss Crabby Pants said...

Funny, I just bought myself the biggest wrist watch I've ever owned. It was an accident of internet shopping, but I have come to love this huge, heavy reminder of time, of now.

MaryWalkerBaron said...

Ha. Thanks for reminding us that time as a fact, as a metaphor, and as a reminder that -- much like a pda can travel with us in our pockets our purses -- we can strap on our wrists to guide us through our 'times' has meaning for each of us and, thankfully, not the same meaning. As always, your feed back is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I haven't worn a watch for years - it' to much trouble to buy another battery. Why not just go back to looking to the skies for the location of the sun/moon.

Leslie said...

I was once in Washington D.C., which I find to be the most confusing city in the world, as it is built in a circle. It was about seven in the morning, and I was saying morning prayers in my hotel room, and had no idea which way was east. However, as I faced the window, I noticed I was squinting in the sun. I am embarrassed to say that it took me a few minutes to realize that that meant I was facing east.