Saturday, February 02, 2008

Confusion to the Black-faced Clock!

I have to say I really enjoyed the month of January 2008. Getting out there in the rain and schmizz is key, I think, to not sliding into a funk.

And it has, most certainly, been rainy! Sometimes I'd get back from a walk and as I bent down to take off my doofus-y rain boots, about 6 ounces of water would spill out of the hood of my rain jacket. That's what I mean by rainy. I always maintain that I like rain, so I guess I'm finally living up to that claim.

Today, I picked up tickets for the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF). As always, I'm excited to do a little armchair traveling via film. Here's what I'm going to see (if you must know).

The Trap (Serbia)
Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa (U.S., a documentary)
Clouds Over Conakry (Guinea)
Unrelated (Great Britain)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Romania)

There were a couple others I wanted to see (Jar City [Iceland--recommended by Alda] and Caramel [Lebanon]), but, contrary to what you might conclude by the fact that I'm seeing five movies in less than two weeks, I do have a life and both those movies conflict with a party I'm going to.

I'm reading a book right now called In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed. It's all about how people in modern society overbook themselves and rush around like maniacs multitasking, chronically sleep-deprived, and always feeling like they're never going to catch up or have any time to themselves. Sound familiar?

Apparently, the beginning of the end of the leisurely pace came with the invention of the clock. I like this quote (written [astonishingly] in 1304):

"Confusion to the black-faced clock...that awoke me! May its head, tongue, its pair of ropes, and its wheels moulder; likewise its weights and dullard balls, its orifices, its hammer, its ducks quacking as if anticipating day and its ever restless works."

I know just how that guy back in 1304 felt. I've never ever gotten used to the sound of an alarm clock going off, nor have I ever felt like I was ready to get up when it started buzzing, trilling, or chirping at me.

Anyway, it's a pretty good book, even though I don't think I'm as much a victim of the punishing pace as most folks I know (being my own boss and all). And since January was a slowish month workwise for me, I was sort of able to do more of the things I want to do. I do see a tremendous difference in my mood. I feel really good!

Obviously, getting out for a walk every day has got to have something to do with it, but not feeling as much deadline pressure as I normally have is a factor as well, I'm certain. Suddenly, I have more energy for creative endeavors whether it's making a batch of refrigerator pickles or buckling down to knit a terrifyingly ambitious (for me) cardigan. (Just so you know, I'm not making it in blaring hunting-season orange, but in a seasonally appropriate foresty-mossy color.)

The Ravaging Hand of Time?


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