bunt sign

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We are now about halfway between the end of summer and the beginning of winter. That’s the kind of observation, I realize, that can only come from someone who sees time the old-fashioned way, as a series of discrete points (on a line, on a circle, depends on your philosophy) rather than as a river of randomly cascading events. The way things happen now, in this century, is with a sort of relentless randomness that lacks the civilized discretion of the twentieth century, still my favorite.

Uhhh... where was I? Oh, right. Halfway between summer and winter. The other way around, of course, if you hold your globe upside down. Is there any reason the North Pole should be at the top and the South Pole at the bottom? I south were up and north were down, “Down Under” would have a whole different meaning.

Where was I again? Usually I dread the time of year when we set our clocks ahead an hour. I ordinarily dread the very day it happens, a day that is coming this weekend. The day, because it’s one hour less to sleep (to sleep in the next morning, that is). The time of year, because it gets dark earlier and earlier, and by tampering with the clocks, it starts with a quantum leap into the early nights.

Lately my eyes have been more sensitive to the glare of sunlight. I think it’s getting to be time for another visit with the eye doctor, but for now I’m finding it’s easier to see after dark. I’m beginning to relish nestling into the recliner with the lights out and no ambient source of light to distract me while I watch big bright movies on my big bright television set. So I’m not as resentful of the loss of daylight as I usually am this time of year.

One day, all of us, the original analog thinkers, will be gone. Time will be told strictly from numbers on digital readouts, but that won’t be the end of the clocks we grew up with, the ones with hour hands and minute hands and second hands. Our legacy will be kept alive by a cult of retro geeks who will also be the last humans to practice “penmanship,” once they stop teaching it in schools. They will be like the anthropologists frantically transcribing those lost tribal languages with only one speaker left.

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