love being different
Last week, I found myself wandering down 86th street, between 2nd and 3rd avenue. As I walked down the fairly quiet street, I found a sign that read: Clock Shop.
At first I thought: well, you can’t be mistaken about what they sell in there! Stopping to look into the store window, I realised that the many of the clocks looked antique, and some of them were not ticking. So I walked in.
As expected, I was instantly surrounded by clocks, clocks of all shapes and sizes. Also as expected, I was greeted by an elderly gentleman. (Because really, who else would be running and attending to a clock shop?)
Staying a while, I soon learned that the man was a horologist—my word for the day that day—or someone who works on and repairs clocks. He was very accommodating and answered all my questions about each clock I pointed out. He even suggested I take pictures of the ones I liked, which I did.
The clock shop and my conversation with the gentleman have been on my mind this past week. I keep thinking about it. So today I thought to ask myself what I liked about it so much, and that led to personal reflection.
1) I love things that are old and hidden.
This was the first thing I thought when I finally asked myself why I kept thinking of the clock shop. I love that things in it were old. And I love that it was kind of tucked away in the basement of a building. Giving it more thought, I realised that the reason why I love old and hidden things is because there is an opportunity for unearthing a story in the discovery.
He was a bit of a historian, that horologist. Each piece in his shop told a story; of a different time, of a different place, of a different way of living. Each of those timepieces were gateways to a different time. It was captivating.
“It must be so interesting to work with time and timepieces,” I said.
“Oh, I don’t work with time,” he said. “Time works with me.”
2) I have always been fascinated by time.
Who was the first person that thought to take note of the time? (Someone in Egypt, apparently.) Why did man persist to maintain time-keeping? These are things I’ve always wondered, but never really bothered to look up.
And it occurs to me that this fascination with time must be one of the reasons why I love science fiction, since that genre always treats time a little differently.
3) I am constantly documenting time, someway, somehow.
I have a personal journal, a travel journal, a blog, an Instagram account, a Twitter account, and a Facebook account. While none of this is out of the ordinary for what we now consider to be a typical person, my reason for having the first four are one and the same: to document my life, my thoughts, my ideas, and my creative endevours.
I am constantly documenting. In fact, I started a long time ago. There is a stack, a very thick stack, of papers among my things that is made up of pages upon pages of quotes I like, poems I like, pictures that inspire me, articles I thought were worth saving, etc. Why are these in one pile? Because I started this collection when I was ten, before websites like tumblr. became popular. I basically had tumblr. before tumblr. was ever invented. I can’t recall when I stopped adding to the stack and just created a digital file and began adding to that. Needless to say, if I ever do start a tumblr. account, there’s a good chance the website will crash with everything I have to upload.
That’s not the point, though. The question soon became: why do I have this obsessive need to document? And the answer brought me back to the reason why I am in New York in the first place.
It’s because I love stories. And I love telling them. That’s why I’m here; to learn how to tell stories better, to be a better storyteller, to get the most out of my stories while writing out my own
4) Time is of the essence (and no, I don’t mean speed things up)
I mean it is essential to everything; to growing, to living, to loving, to understanding, and to stories. The best stories—and perhaps the best people and relationships—are given time. That’s something I need to keep reminding myself. Maybe it’s something we can all remind ourselves.