It was just after daylight-saving ended that I happened upon this clock in the gutter, abandoned in a bag of rubbish.
It’s been ticking over in my mind ever since – something about the way time was literally thrown out; while, collectively, we decided to shift our clocks back an hour, in a joint decision to make time suit our needs.
Hours can seem like such solid, set measurements. Until you remember that they’re an invention…
What does it mean to live our lives according to these arbitrary periods? To divide each day into 24 bits and then fit our experiences in around them?
And, more broadly, do we also live our lives according to other, greater, timelines? Like the things we’re ‘supposed’ to have done by the time we’re 20, 30, 50 or 70?
Who decides this stuff? Who sets out what a ‘good’ life should look like? Who gets to say what is ‘normal’ for each of us to achieve or to become by a certain age?
(And what might it be like to stray from that timeline, and wander off on a course of your own setting?)
Come time-travelling for a moment; away from our fast-paced world, and back, back, to an era of sun-dials. On overcast days, there are no shadows… and no time to measure on the dial. No hours, no minutes. Just life to live. Now.
Returning to the present-day, if there were no hours here, and no fixed timelines of a ‘good’ or ‘normal’ life, might you change the way you live your ‘nows’?
If you clocked-off for a moment, and let the flurry of deadlines drop, what else might come into focus?
How else might you measure your days? (Your life?)
And, if you were to set your own timeline, what might be important for you to achieve or to experience or to become?
(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010
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