Spinning the clock

by Ken on June 2, 2010

What spins your clock?

For me, there are activities so absorbing that I realize, a bit stunned, that the hours have slipped by without my awareness. It’s as I might  imagine a time machine to which one enters and becomes so engrossed that the clock begins to spin in a blur.

I’ve come to believe that each of us needs such an avocation.  If we are lucky enough to have one, it is likely some form of art or expression that absorbs every fiber of our being.

For some it is putting together a model or building an airplane. For others it might be writing an essay or a book; or restoring a car; or the seeking and taking that perfect photo. To some the clock spins with their sewing machine; or as they approach and make the perfect landing in their airplane. Any pursuit that spins the clock is likely some kind of expression – and we are seeking a level of quality that, when seen,  shunts  straight to the souls of our fellows;  unencumbered by evaluation or thought; exceeding language and mere explanation. We know the result can be  senior the sum of its parts.

We have each shed tears or shivered in our skins in the presence of true beauty of creation. We have each experienced those priceless moments when thought is suspended. Yet  though we perceive physical things through physical senses, what we make of such expressions is timeless and even separates us from those realities of the physical world.

If we live, we each know this feeling when it’s there.

From that moment of perceived aesthetic perfection we may vow to ourselves, maybe without direct awareness, that we too can and will create something of equally breathtaking magic. Thus a child picks up the guitar to strum her first chord; or the new artist, blooming late in life, places his first mark on the canvas. Each has a story to tell; a human story; universally understood, if well expressed.  And if well expressed, regardless of medium, these stories attain directly to the souls of their fellow man bypassing the common channels; oblivious of language and culture.

The the modes of expression are as endless as the faces of the world.  A beautiful garden created; the car, restored, that hums with magnificent power, the words and song that tear into our memories; the chord that stirs the heart and floods the eyes; all are manners of expression. It might be the film that lingers long after the credits – or the coin collection, so carefully and skillfully acquired. Each are expressions of the human spirit that communicate to those who look.

The success of any art is monitored by the level of the quality of that communication, regardless of genre. The never-ending, human, goal is the perfection of that quality. By practice and hard work, the virtuoso emerges.

I am fortunate to have many pursuits that suspend my sense of time. I hope you do as well. Let’s both seek to refine and polish our own expressions. The world will be a better place.

I believe that most everything we do,  as human beings, is done in the pursuit of aesthetics.

And thus our clocks spin – to infinity.

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