Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 1- Clock

(In case you wondered, I've decided to do a photo a day challenge. As per usual, I'm already behind, but this time, I fully intend to make it up and keep it up, because I am now sure I can do something for thirty days straight, and this time around the block, i want it to be writing.  The photo's gonna be the prompt.)

It started simple.  The dark would be interrupted by soft oranges and yellows, the evening clouds would part. Clear blue would stretch across the sky most days, but on certain days the blackness would only cede to grey. Though the bright fingers of the sun would pry eyes open before they were ready, its warm touch was missed, and the earth was cold those days.

But more often, the sun cut a path through the sky. In the middle of the day it hung above, cutting its light into those without shade, making great mirrors out of lakes and oceans, fading colors, melting ice, warming earth.

Sometimes the light stretched out forever, and some times it hid beneath clouds.  A stone was carved and stood in a common place in the open.  As the sun went through its paces, a shadow was cast, and we followed.

Then the wheel. Then the cogs.  A rhythm followed the shadow, a pulse. Numbers.  The cogs and gears and mechanisms turned and it was 1.  Then 2.  The time between insignificant perhaps.  Days subdivided into hours.  Early morning hours, for sleep or work.  Daylight hours, for work, for exploring while the shadows were at bay. Nighttime hours, for dinner, for rest, for socializing as long as the lanterns had oil.

But soon enough it never had to be dark. Soon enough the space between one and 2 became set aside.  Minutes. Minutia. This precision, this pulse driving life to an ever rising pace.

Then time zones, so we could deign to make the hours bend to our will.  So we could pretend we had any control over the light and when it came and went.

Cogs and gears a thing of the past, we crush crystal, let it flow liquid.  The number is luminescent so we can always see it, always watch it advance.  So we always know when to expect the sun, so we know when it is time to start a new day, or time to end one.

Such precision now that races aren't won by a nose, they're won in bits of time so small that blinking seems like blindness.

Still we aren't satisfied. Since splitting the atom, we want to drive deeper even if we've gone to the core.  Now a clock won't do.  Time tracked seems a waste of time, and an object that only speaks in seconds seems a vanity.  "Yes, time....but what else?"

The silver hands of wristwatches atrophy, forgotten in jewelry drawers as the batteries die.

We find time where we find bank balances, messages from friends, entertainment, recipes,pictures we take to remember moments we didn't want to pass.  We find time on things that also cook our food in minutes instead of slow simmering hours.  We don't find time on its own, and we don't find time alone. But maybe we should.

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