Things change all the time, don’t they? Sometimes they happen as such a matter of course that we don’t even notice they’ve changed.
Joni Mitchell fans will be familiar with the lyrics of Big Yellow Taxi –
‘Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?’
I find those lyrics to be very pertinent in our modern, electronically-saturated age. A lot of the things that made up the regular background of my days are slowly disappearing.
You know what I really miss?
I forgot to put on my watch the other day and couldn’t believe how difficult it was to check the time without asking someone (and even that was awkward because the people I asked also weren’t wearing watches so had to scramble in their bags for their mobile phones….)
No clocks in waiting rooms. No clocks in shopping centres. I remember being entranced by the clock in the Post Office when I was a kid. The postmaster wound it with a huge key first thing in the morning and polished the glass. I still remember how particular he was getting the streaks off. Now the Post Office doesn’t even have a digital clock.
How did this happen? Is it a mass cost cutting measure? Or are we so conscious of the inexorable passage of time that we no longer wish to mark it?
I used to take comfort in seeing all the clocks in my local neighbourhood. It was good to know how long I had to wait or whether I was on time acknowledged in a more formal way than a personal watch ever could.
I miss the clocks. So whenever I see one I make a little wish that it won’t be taken away and will continue to mark our moments for as long as it can.