Resist the Clock


Time goes fast

Time goes slow

Time goes the opposite way 

you want it to go.

I wrote this “poem” in second grade at the urging of my teacher, Sister Peter. I remember scribbling those lines after staring at the large classroom clock wishing for three o’clock and the bell to ring. My English language skills had blossomed by then and I could even think in English as well as in my native Spanish. The previous year, first grade, at age five, I had begun  to assimilate the new language.  I think now that this poem marked my proficiency in a new language and perhaps it’s why I remember it still. 

The relativity of time is something even my exasperated six year old self seemed to know. Societies today seem to worship Time, making efficiency a priority. However, the reverse seems to be true and Time has instead latched itself onto and constricted our psyche. I prefer to think of Time as Salvador Dali’s melting clocks in his masterpiece “Persistence of Memory”— immeasurable and bendable.

We are told that to be fulfilled in life, we must live in the Now. Perhaps this is how we dislodge ourselves from Time’s grip. Perhaps Time could be a partner and not an adversary; working harmoniously, but not dominating. Perhaps Time would allow those important conversations and ideas to flow, and not disparage ephemera for not being hard evidence or a checklist.

Yes, this is my reverie, but I know for certain that our existence is transitory. In that case, why not make the most of it. So how do we reconcile living in the moment with Time’s stranglehold? I turn to Nature, as you can see from what I create. To escape Time’s grasp, and resist the urgings of the clock, indulge yourself by taking walks and observing everything. Pick up that stone/feather/leaf. Look at it closely. Allow yourself to be awed and radicalized by its awesomeness. If there’s nothing on the ground to see, look up at the clouds. Observe their seemingly sculpted fluffiness, or how fast they glide by.  If you have a chance to go to a park or forest, check out the trees; listen to them grow and leaf out. This time of year you might could even hear the sap running! (Tip: All this is good practice for when we encounter and must interact with other people.)  

Indeed it is the  time of year that brings hope and new beginnings, and days we wish would never end. It will soon be time to sit and smell the roses, and perhaps we’ll have by then the presence of mind to enjoy and be in the moment.