It dawned on me the other day that my life, for good or bad, is directed by the clock. It isn’t that I’m concerned about what time it is at any given point of my day. I don’t have to be. Either through deliberate action or subconscious purchases, I have ensured that I can “check the clock” at every moment of every day.
I awake to the sound of my clock radio and pad to the bathroom where the clock on the wall is at least five minutes slower than my bedside radio.
As I make my way back into the bedroom I notice that my wife’s clock radio is set 15 minutes ahead to give her more time to sleep.
Once in the kitchen, I glance at the coffee maker to ensure the automatic clock has started the brewing process.
I put my oatmeal in the microwave that also announces the time and reassures me that breakfast is almost ready when the timer counts down.
As I place the hot bowl on the oven, I notice that the stove clock is in perfect synchronization with the microwave.
I check the watch on my wrist as I make my way out the door.
Once in my car, I look at the radio and the local station announces the story of the day and the exact time. My car clock is two minutes slow.
My phone, mounted on the dash is perfectly synchronized with some satellite orbiting the earth and confirmed my slow car clock.
Driving through town, I am reminded of the time and temperature by two schools and three banks.
After I sit at my desk, my two computers report my appointments with annoying pop-up notifications. The warnings give me notice of events, ensuring that I’m never late, never unaware of the time that keeps ticking along, out of my control, beyond my power.
Of course, as I leave my office at the end of the day, the entire process rolls along in reverse.
There isn’t a moment in my day that isn’t accounted for. There isn’t a second that passes without my knowledge.
Sometimes I wish I could simply take off my watch, sleep with the setting sun and awake with the singing birds. I wish I could just sit back, close my eyes and breathe deeply, allowing the beating of my heart to be the only rhythm in my life.
A day of quiet, solitude, timeless meditation.
A day apart.
A day directed by something other than the clock and the sweeping hands of time.