Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Calendar

It’s paradoxical that the one thing we desire most, we often waste with reckless abandon… the gift of time.  It’s a gift that if stolen or lost, can never be replaced.  The longer one lives, the more one understands how limited is our time, and how helpless we are to conjure more.

“Lost time is never found again.”

Benjamin Franklin

In 2015, we initiated daylight savings time earlier than ever before in an effort to extend our days for play and other pursuits. Though understanding it’s only a bit of trickery, for there are never more than 24 hours in a day, we congratulate our cleverness at fooling mother nature, when in reality, she moves ahead at her determined pace, regardless of how we set our clocks. As Chaucer observed almost 700 years ago “Time and tide wait for no man.”

Whether via sundial, hourglass or timepiece, we watch the minutes slip by, helpless to halt them.

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“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

S. Lewis

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Whether president or plebeian, potentate or pauper, we are all subject to the same rule of time.

“You may delay, but time will not.”

Benjamin Franklin

We carry watches to measure the seconds ticking by…

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“Five minutes are enough to dream a whole life, that is how relative time is.”

Mario Benedetti

Although there are almost as many cellphones (6.8 billion) as there are people on earth (7 billion) which also display time, the watch has become more popular than ever, from Patek Philippe to Breguet, Tag Heuer to Vacherrone. For some, it’s a love of fine craftsmanship, for others, a status symbol. For most, the watch may just be a convenience, as most cellphones are not yet waterproof. But wait! Could there be another reason?

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Marthe Troly-Curtin

 

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Though digital watches were a fun fad when first introduced, they never caught on. Even most early adapters soon reverted to an analog format. Why? As Albert Einstein opined decades ago “Man thinks in terms of pictures, then later puts his idea into words.” (If you don’t think so, try explaining what a spiral staircase is to someone using only words – no arm gestures, no pictures, zip.  In fact, try to explain what a spiral is without a visual aid – and differentiate it from a circle, or something spinning on a flat surface. Or take staircase, for that matter, and in words only, explain what it is, so that it can be differentiated from a ladder or a ramp. See how helpful a visual can be?)

So – if your analog watch reads 12:15, and your friend says “I’ll meet you in half an hour” a study found that most people would look at their watch and (they didn’t even realize this until queried) envision a 30 minute ‘slice of pie’ on their watch, then held that image in their mind. The numbers were far less important that the ‘space’ on the watch face.  Conversely, when wearing a digital watch reading 12:15, even though study participants knew their friend would at return at 12:45, they checked their watches 3 to 4 times more often. The numbers, though observed, didn’t register. They didn’t correspond to anything memorable. (i.e. visual) The person had to continually ‘translate” the numbers into time.  Interesting, no? Test this for yourself, the next time you ask a friend to “look at that adorable child, over there – at 11:00 o’clock.’”  The clock face is so ingrained, it’s become a blueprint for directions.

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Watches are often given as gifts for special occasions, and hold special memories, much like a treasured piece of jewelry. A spring tree abloom with lady’s pendant watches reminds us why we treasure these tiny timepieces.

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Additional pendant watches adorn this rose vined hankie, with several resembling miniature wall clocks. Note the wee weights and pendulum at 11:00 o’clock, the lyre timepiece at 12:00, as well as the hunting horn and butterfly. So charming.

 

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Regatta stopwatches hang from pier pilings strung with seashells, while alongside, fanciful hot pink timepieces swirl in a whirlwind of Roman and Arabic numerals. Fun!

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The hourglass on the left reminds: “Il y a temps pour tout” – There is time for everything, and “Kommt Zeit kom Rat” – Time will tell.

 

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Stately mantle clocks and a plethora of pocket watches on chains remind us that time is of the essence.

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“Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.”

Brian Andreas

If we need auditory reminders, there is always the classic cuckoo clock.

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Just as people shopped for the perfect lamp or end table, the clock was considered not only functional, but decorative, and a reflection of the owner’s taste and style. Its aesthetic appeal was carefully considered, and soon there was a timepiece for every taste.

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Below, the ghost image of a Roman numeral clock face anchors a bevy of elaborate timepieces.

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Fanciful cherubs frolic amidst a profusion of chiming beauties – everything from the Greek lyre, to the Egyptian obelisk, the classic Cartier, the glass domed anniversary clock, and more.

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The hankie abouve is the first hankie we’ve seen where all the clocks are synchronized to the exact minute.  It brings to mind a restaurant in Monterey, CA, called The Clock. Cozy and quaint, fronted by a charming garden patio, its walls were covered with clocks – of all permutations – large, small, simple, ornate, silly, elegant, glass, brass, chrome, wood, you name it. On the hour, it was as if time stood still when hundreds of clocks would boom, bong, clang, dong, jingle, knell, sound, strike, tinkle, chime, gong, ring, and cuckoo with alarming alacrity. Conversation, of necessity, came to a dead halt, as patrons and wait staff alike surrendered to the melodious melee. It was great fun.  As the clocks would near the top of each hour, you could observe customers prolonging their meal (myself included) in order to enjoy the spectacle and cacophony all over again. I miss those clocks (and the Greek lemon soup!).

 

Anyone who has ever waited for a beloved knows that minutes seem like hours, and hours like days.  You can literally walk yourself in circles, like our chap on the left checking his wristwatch for the umpteenth time, or the clock watching couple on the right.

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“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

William Shakespeare

“But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Sometimes the entire clock face will subsume the hankie as it does with this terrific duo, both of which are perfect for flirting. On the left, double scalloped edges frame this elegant, tasteful timepiece. When folded, its feminine, flirty edges would look terrific peeping from lady’s pocket. On the right, this combo clock/astrology calendar is a natural conversation opener for the ubiquitous “What’s your sign?”

 

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If you’ve viewed past blogs on Easter or Tea Time , you’ve seen Alice’s White Rabbit pop up. Obsessed with time, but perennially late, his pulchritudinous pocket watch is forever present. I doubly love this children’s hankie for the fact that our tardy bunny sports a hankie dangling from his pocket, as do the duplicate dandies who bookend our trusty timekeeper.  Terrific!

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“How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

Our cherubs return to warn Cinderella to step lively! Midnight approaches!

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Even more direct is the fairy tale depiction below. Look closely. Instead of glass slippers, our heroine twirls en pointe in tiny ballet slippers. The brocade curtain frame indicates we may be viewing Frederick Ashton’s lovely interpretation of Cinderella at ABT.

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It’s not surprising our heroine would miss her fairy godmother’s deadline, for time has no meaning in the realm of romance. Our closing hankie says it all, and is one any woman would be honored to receive, and quite frankly flaunt from her pocket or tie to her purse strap, for all the world to see.

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So there you have it, a profusion of pocket reminders which prompt one to treasure your time and your minutes like gold. Once lost, they are gone forever.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.”

Eckhart Tolle

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day,  the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”

Arnold Bennett

 

For Your Enjoyment

Time after Time, composed by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Kahn. Introduced by Kathryn Grayson in the 1947 movie It Happened in Brooklyn. In this clip, a very young Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra both pine for Grayson. Sinatra’s version follows. (Yes, I realize Cyndi Lauper also wrote a song Time After Time. I particularly like Tuck and Patti’s version of it.)

 

Time in a Bottle, 1972, Jim Croce

Eerily, this song hit #1 on the charts fourteen weeks after Croce was killed in a plane crash.

2 Comments

  1. 4-26-2015

    Another winner! I like Rod Stewart’s “Time After Time”. Thank you Ann, a good reminder. I am always amazed at your hanky collection! And your amazing word eloquence!

  2. 4-27-2015

    Time hankies remind me that I must get moving on the day. But thank you for a welcome respite, as I’ve already done some sweeping and cleaned some windows!
    Love your blog.

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