I don’t know if anyone beside myself recalls “Around the World in 80 Days”, the Jules Verne novel made into a rather charming movie with David Niven as the protagonist: a British eccentric named Fogg with a decided fondness (nowadays we would say an obsession) for clocks, who nevertheless manages to get the girl in the end. You can tell from that fact alone, without knowing anything else, that this novel was written in the 1870s.
I find it somewhat ironic that in the 140 years since that story was published, we have out-Fogged Fogg to a degree unimaginable up until very recently. Fogg was famous for having a clock in every room. We—especially we here in the US—generally have up to a half a dozen, maybe more. We are surrounded by clocks to an astounding degree (anything with a chip in it has at least one), and the clock-makers (like our society in general) are obsessed with dividing time in ever smaller slices. And all these clocks are busily ticking away, counting off the increments of that most problematic entity and making some of us feel guilty or apprehensive or frustrated (or all three) by doing so.
We have been, to no small degree, among of the afflicted.
You see, quite some time ago, we set ourselves a deadline. And then we let it pass. And let it pass again. In fact, between last September and Christmas, we let it pass four times, at which point we decided that deadline needed to be retired, so we did. It’s our deadline; we can put it out to pasture if we want to.
But we cannot stop the clocks from ticking, nor can we ignore the fact that the task to which we set ourselves goes undone. And that is why I am thinking on clocks.
But I am also thinking on clocks because, now finally, the end—well, at least the beginning of the end—it is in sight, or better yet, in focus. We can see details formerly obscured and conquer them. And we are doing so. Now, as the clocks tick, the To-Do list shrinks in proportion and we get closer and closer to unleashing the fruit of all this labor on an unsuspecting world.
No doubt the world will remain unsuspecting as it will take no notice whatsoever, but a teeny-tiny fraction might, and it is possible that you are in it. At least we hope you will be in it. So watch this space for an announcement in the not-too-distant future.
That is all that I will say for know, except that I knew this mountain once, and now I know how she felt.