Living by the tick tock machine.
For some unexplained reason, I wanted to spend one year living by the sunrise and sunset, and not be troubled by a digital or analogue display telling me what to do. I began a study in time, or horology as it is called by the experts. Man time as I like to call it.
Universal time is not synced to any sort of organic activity. It is all a part of the human brick making machinery. A sage once told me that God builds with stones, and man builds with bricks. Though masons have very unique skills that can be hard to master, at its foundation, bricks are a relatively easy medium to build with. Stack ‘em nice and pretty, and find something to keep them stuck together, be it mud and straw or lime and cement.
Today’s time is like that, and man has to keep tinkering with it to keep it sort of synced with solar time. Or God time as I like to call it. The ancients didn’t need to know about the precession of the earth orbit around the sun, nor the equation of time to explain why the sundial only tells the ‘correct’ time twice a year.
Ancient Hebrews divided the hours between sunrise and sunset into eight equal periods called hours, and the night into four equal periods called watches. The Romans had 12 equal periods from sunrise to sunset and three equal periods from sunset to sunrise that were also called hours and watches. This little discrepancy has confused Biblical Scholars greatly over the years, but that is another topic for another time. The net result on the average Roman or Jew in ancient Israel was nil. You rose at daybreak, and slept after twilight ended.
So back to the waking at dawn, and going to bed at the end of twilight. I had no comprehension how difficult that was going to be in this world where everyone else lived by the tick-tock machine. Special events at churches and synagogues, such as a Wednesday Bible study, start at 7:00 pm, whether it is light or dark outside.
Even my beloved Snookums is geared to the ticktocking. Brunch at 10 am. Dinner at 5 pm. TV at 8 o’clock. Bedtime at 10:30. Lights out at 11. And we don’t need no steeeeeking sun to tell us what to do.
So quietly, I try to adjust my body to God’s time, yet pay some obeisance man’s time. It is sort of like trying to serve two masters. Still, it does seem to fit me a bit better now that I have started that primitive rhythm and do not depend on artificial suns to extend my evening hours. It will be an interesting experiment this winter, with the longer nights and shorter days.
So goes the days in the autumn of my years. Whether it be tempus fugit or time flies, the days pass, and I watch, sans a watch on my wrist.