Saturday, 21 February 2009

keeping time


Pad onderhoud = road maintenance

Beginning in the fourth century, the clock made us into time-keepers, then time-savers, then time-servers,” wrote Neil Postman, a man described by Wikipedia as an "American author, media theorist and cultural critic". “In the process, we’ve learned irreverence toward the sun and seasons, for in a world made up of seconds and minutes, the authority of nature is superseded."

I've spent the last few weeks thinking about time and planning for the future. Looking for new opportunities and deciding what is worth hanging onto.

And, this past week in the unexpected pleasure of a few days and nights in the centre of Cape Town, noticing all the clocks in the city (and wishing I hadn't left my camera in the hotel room) and listening to them all chiming out of sync through the nights.

I remember reading Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections when I was 17 and being totally offended by his refusal to allow his wife to have any time saving devices such as a washing machine. I thought then it was just male chauvinist arrogance that meant more work for his long suffering wife.

Now, many years later, I see the value of what he was saying.

Imagine what the world would be like if we had followed his recommendation of working a four-hour day and spending the rest of the time growing our own food on a small plot of land. He said we should spend little time on radio, television, newspapers, and all supposed time-saving devices, "which do not, paradoxically, save time but merely cram our time so full we have no time for anything."

Maybe it is time to turn back the clock.

2 comments:

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Oh good grief -- does that mean I'd have to give up my computer, blogging, photo-taking and editing? That would definitely NOT be a sweet surrender.

Lynne said...

No, those are all fine... none of them are strictly time saving devices! More like time takers!