Posted by: shatteredblog | June 10, 2009

In the Moment


The clock hands read 6:23. That’s what this clock has always read, all I can remember it saying. This is my moment you see, the space between the hand pointing to 23 and where it would point to 24. In the square looking up the hands on the clock tower sit unmoving, as does the painted sky behind it. As moments go, I think mine is quite beautiful.

My town, in addition to the clock tower has a town hall, a library,  and a bank. The last of these is closed, doors locked… it is 6:23 of course. I’ve found myself a comfortable sofa in the library reading room and that’s where I stay. The books are endlessly fascinating and help fill my moment quite well.

In the books time passes; characters grow and develop and interact, great men discuss important ideas at noon or at night. All that is well and good of course, but when you live in a moment like mine it’s hard to focus on anything in motion in the stories when you want to see the moments. Children are born in moments like this, and relationships are broken. Socrates died in a moment much like mine, and Plato wrote the last line in his Republic in another. A devout man lifts his hands in supplication while an evil one reaches into his pocket to rob him. All these choices and actions happen in moments just like this one. Not in this moment though, this moment is mine alone. Noone shares it with me except the frozen clock face and the painted sky.

You might wonder how I came here. I do too as I don’t remember. I remember standing on a street corner looking at a traffic light, and a whistle… and then I remember the air getting stale as if it had been sitting without being disturbed. The light was dark, the sun fixed in the west and I was here.

Since then I’ve had lots of time to read and think. Not really thinking I guess, more like daydreaming. The way I see it, a moment doesn’t exist for no purpose; it must be there for a reason even if said reason seems insignificant. The books in my library are full of moments that are significant, moments where a decision is made and somebody dies or is married or loses everything meaningful to them. There are moments where people thank their Gods and moments where people curse them. All this reading makes my mind wander on the topic of what this moment is and how it could be significant.

When I dream I see myself on that street corner thinking great thoughts and coming to great conclusions. Maybe I’m a mathematician who has just proven a difficult theorem. Maybe I’m a politician with a brand new solution to an economic problem. Maybe I’m a man in love about to make a phone call and tell the woman I adore how much she means to me. When I dream I can be all those things but my reality is I am none of them, I’m just the man who lives here in this moment.

There are times too when I dream things that I don’t wish. Times when I’m Socrates in the moment before the hemlock rends his mind. When the whistle in the air is the bomb falling, and in the next moment the clocktower and the town hall and the library and the bank are all destroyed in the shock wave. But most disturbing of all are the times when I dream that this moment isn’t mine at all and it belongs to someone else. Someone I’ve never met is having a life changing experience in this moment, while I’m just left to wish it were me.

Perhaps one day I’ll know why I’m here, and I’ll go back to that street corner and close my eyes and then time will continue on. I’ll be gone then of course, when the next moments take over and this one ends my consciousness will go along with it. Until then I’m happy to look up at the painted sky and daydream, while the clock hands read 6:23.



  1. Beautiful! So vivid — like the moment just before you wake up from a dream.

  2. Thaught provoking 🙂

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