Then There's That Day Your Clocks All Stop

From the distant days of sundials to our days of atomic clocks, we have always been a species insistent on knowing the time. Animals and farmers can sense it; the rest of us demand to control it. If there’s any doubt, check the number of clocks and watches and smart-phones in your life.

The scenario you and I live in right now is totally dependent on being timely. Getting the news… tracking the markets…having the latest poll results…being first to own this or sell that or have early access to the medical research. Like the frenetic rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland,” we are frenetically driven by the watches we wear.

And yet.

There have been — or surely will be — those days when your clocks all stop. Not because they’re not ticking, but because their ticking doesn’t make much difference anymore. We didn’t need Einstein to prove time is relative, for it’s often relative not to the spin of the planet but rather to the spin of events

How many many times, time for us freezes in its tracks. When you’re a child waiting for Christmas morning…a lover waiting for them to call….an applicant waiting for a reply…a patient waiting for the test results….a general waiting to hear from the front…a president pacing the Oval Office for word…a widow or widower waiting for this nightmare to be over.

I’ve watched and worked for those masters-of-the-universe whose decisions and victories are shaped by the way they’ve appropriated time to their exact purposes. Acquiring the stock, closing the deal, settling the case, getting the votes. Dazzling! I’ve not watched them when they are away from the levers of power, caught instead by the limits of the stopped clocks in their lives. However, they are as human as I, and so I know these things to be true.

I hear the honey-voiced songstress of my youth, Doris Day, has come out with her first album in 18 years. Among her countless song hits was the award-winning Que Sera Sera (what will be will be). My Italian Grandmother hummed that message to me years before Doris did. I didn’t really get it when Grandma hummed it. Nor when Doris sang it.

That was then! This is now! By now, I hope you too have learned its timeless wisdom. After all, the time may be shorter than you’re figuring.

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