If I look up from the computer from which I type these words, a clock is in front of me. Not a working clock, mind you. This time piece is not plugged in or wound. It is completely and utterly broken. The arms which were meant to point at the numbers have fallen from their rightful places and lay harmlessly at the circular base.
When I first noticed this I thought it was a cruel commentary on how I spend my days. The fates have placed this malfunctioning clock in front of me as a reminder that I am not valuing our most precious commodity, time.
There was a Bergman movie that started off with the protagonist having a dream of a clock with no arms. It drove him to an existential crisis. I hope this image was not what caused that character’s discontent (more likely it was because he was trapped in a black and white Swedish film).
I’d rather think of this timeless clock as an absurdity. Time is unimportant, a man made invention, as meaningless as those Salvador Dali paintings with their watches that melt like a mirage. Or like the great rap group Digable Planets sang, “Time is unreal. We’re just babies.”
But it’s been almost 20 years since the Digable Planets put out a new album and Salvador Dali and Ingmar Bergman are both long dead. And still the clocks keep ticking. Except that is for the one in front of me.