Paratalk or Torque?

Suzie Eisfelder

My usual column where I take a paragraph at random and talk about it in whatever way I wish. I never know what I’m going to look at or say until I get there. Today I’ve picked up an Overland magazine, Issue 234 from Autumn 2019. Now to open it up and see what’s there.

There are some wonderful paragraphs in here. Some of them are so beautifully written yet I can’t find much to write about. The main reason is the it needs the rest of the story, I’m just not good enough at this to only write about that paragraph. But it’s a beautiful paragraph and lovely story.

Finding another story I hovered over the paragraph about the calendars but then this one caught my eye. On the second read I knew this was the one. The story is called ‘Buried Time’ by Mykaela Saunders.

We took clocks at work that kept families separate. They turned people into slaves and turned leaders into tyrants. We took them from kitchens in cafes across the town, we rummaged around the council chambers for all the kinds we could find, and shops and farms and all other buildings that used to rule the roost by the clock.

I love clocks, I love watches. The older, the better. I don’t wear a watch because I make them go backwards. Many people don’t believe me but that’s not my problem. It means I am a slave to whatever clock happened to be around until I got a mobile phone which stayed in my pocket.

The clocks in our kitchen all have different times. Fixing them often does nothing. I’m hoping for a miracle that we’ll either ditch a clock and then only have three clocks in the one room or at least get them all on the same time. Considering two of them keep very poor time that last will definitely be a miracle.

But this paragraph reminds how reliant we are on calendars. We’ve stopped watching the weather and insist on looking at the calendar to know what the season is. I just don’t feel this is the right thing to do. By the calendar we came into Spring three days ago, but I walked outside a couple of weeks ago and it felt like Spring. There was that feel in the air that people who aren’t chained to a concrete jungle would probably be able to feel.

Before 1840 life in England wasn’t ruled by the time. In fact clocks in different parts of England had different times. It was only in 1840 that the Great Western Railway synchronised the local mean times to London time. Other countries had different years and ways of doing things. It’s actually really interesting, although I’ll leave you to do your own research on it.

So, looking back at this paragraph where they’re taking all the clocks, I can’t help wondering that maybe we’re far too reliant on clocks and calendars. Maybe it would be better if we started looking outside more and feeling the air to see what’s happening.

You can have a look at this issue here.

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