Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Beauty of not Knowing the Time

Starting in the late afternoon, I had 3 different appointments today.  After each one ended, I went to the place of the next one, and waited for it to begin.  Not once during the entire evening was I aware of the exact time; I could guess the approximate time by the setting sun and the beginning of each appointment; since Mexicans aren't very punctual, the second point counts for little.

I didn't have a watch on, and I had left my cell phone with my wife.  (She lost hers, and we're still waiting to buy a new one; see Have you ever flushed your phone down the toilet? )

Nor at any given point was it necessary to ask the time or even try to guess.  I only found out the time when I arrived home and realized it was a full hour earlier than I guessed just before entering the door.

I did hurry home; but that was because I was tired and I wanted to see my family; I knew they would all be sound asleep, but I still wanted to see them. There was no pressure from the numbers on a clock.

At one point, on the bus home, I became aware of my lack of knowledge of the time, and the lack of need for  it.  I felt in awe.  It wasn't so much not knowing the time that was beautiful, but more not needing to know the time, and for briefly, not even being aware that you don't know the time or don't need to.

It's like being in a place where there is no electricity - and I don't mean turning the lights off;  I mean no electric current or power source anywhere nearby, above the ground or under it.  Electricity has a light humming, even when all your own lights and appliances are off.  It's impossible to identify that humming when you live in it.  Then one day you arrive to a place where there is no electricity, and the unidentifiable lack of that unaudible humming first haunts you like you are in a strange fantasy world, then overwhelms you with its beauty.  That is true silence.

I felt that way about the time today.  It's the lack of it's ever-present existence in your mind that makes it wonderful.


"Heaven is a place where everything that is not music is silence." - George MacDonald (I believe I got the quotation from C.S. Lewis)


  1. I'm with ya on this one. One of my biggest pet peeves are these people who are CONSTANTLY looking at their cell phones to check the time. Sad.

  2. Time is really an important factor. Excellent post.