I guess it should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I like objects around the concept of time.
I like how time is simultaneously stretchy and rigid, I’m endlessly challenged by the notion of planning for the future but living for the moment, and the necessity of thinking about projects and life beyond our own lifetimes strikes me as both elemental and Quixotic.
So here’s the Eternity clock by Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming.
It’s made of thirty clocks hidden behind a white sheet of acrylic, the hands of the clocks arranged so that every twelve hours, you can see Eternity.
I imagine sitting and meditating on the passage of the hands between each momentary vision of the word might seem like an eternity, or if you are contemplatively inclined, might actually take you there.
The Eternity clock poses a nice temporal counterpoint to the work of the Long Now foundation, which is building the 10,000 Year Clock. A clock for an eternity, at least by human standards.
After ringing in 2014 with good friends, I was thinking on this first morning of the New Year about the annual milestones and celebrations provide a mooring for the passage of time.
Door in Geneva, Switzerland
Photo: PK Read
Actually, what I was really thinking about was how helpful it is to have regular markers, seasonal dates and observances to create a recognisable path through what might otherwise be an overflowing delta of uncollected life events.
Gate to the farm kitchen garden next door.
Photo: PK Read
I don’t mean clocks and calendars so much as moments like New Year’s Eve, an otherwise unremarkable night that acts as a passage from one time to another. And with it, the reflections on the past and resolutions for the future, as if the tools for constructing the way forward aren’t always ready and at hand.
Regardless of which markers we use in our own country or cultures, time and life flow forward at their own pace.
So, Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014, but also: Best Wishes for Now, all the time.