The Clock


I had never really noticed it before, but the clock face began to fascinate me as it had never done before. The continuous path of it's shape being round and having no beginning or end. I had always "seen" the clock as having a top and bottom though it has no actual starting place. Flat and featureless. Not very interesting. Why was I fascinated by it, then? The hands climb upwards at different speeds on one side towards the top and fall down the other side at their unchanging speed towards the bottom. It doesn't really have sides either. No uphill struggle or rush downhill. Just round and round and round. Almost hypnotic in its movement. The clock never hurries and has a patience that is remarkable. A clock never seems to get bored, maybe because it is always busy. I still procrastinate. Important things get put off as new things get in the way. Still getting it wrong about what is important and what is not. A clock doesn't seem to care. It is always telling me important facts, though never anything really new and it always seems to demand my attention, though it never asks for anything. Occasionally, it signals events, but cares not what I do, even if I act on its signal or not.

Where do I exist? Now? Then? Later? Wherever I am at any moment the clock is always in the present, an existence forever in the present, living the boring life of a device that never itself seems to get bored. I am constantly moving in my time between past, present and future. For me, time seems to speed up and slow down and there is no consistency to it all. Sometimes it's too fast and then it's too slow. Time is never "just right". The clock goes on. Round and round and round. I may imagine myself to be in the past or future at any moment in time, but I am always in the present. The clock tells me that. The clock wouldn't lie to me, would it? How could it? It just goes on and on and on and on. This clock seems to have total control over me, yet it does nothing interesting. Perhaps it is this single observation that fascinates me?

I am glad I am not a clock even though it is a remarkable device. A clock is also very strange by going nowhere, yet never standing still either. It goes round and round going to nowhere and showing all movements onwards and forwards. I would not like to live in such a confined space as a clock, but then it is everything from the beginnings of experience to the end of existence. Time may go on beyond the end of time itself, but it has still gone nowhere. It's all very odd and even though I watch time too closely, I always seem to be losing it. Whatever it is, and it is always in the present, time can still record what has happened in the past trapping events in time as it marches onwards going nowhere. If I could free myself of time then, perhaps, I could have true freedom.

Maybe it is not such a dull life after all.

© Louis Brothnias (2005)

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