Fishing in the Stream called “Time”



I must govern the clock and not be governed by it. Golda Meir.


Amen. However, Golda, meet my husband, Joel. Below are just a few of the clocks and timers in our house.


Travel alarm which always sits beside him in the living room. He uses it to gauge how long it takes him to solve his morning Sudoko puzzle.


This clock advises him of the time as well as the weather so he doesn’t have to look out the window. Don’t know what the timer is for.

Clock 6

Old Fashioned Wall Clock (the only one that doesn’t need resetting after a power outage.)


Kitchen timers (he has five). Unlike me, he follows recipes religiously. I just toss anything leftover in the fridge into a pot and cook until my sixth sense tells me its done.


Timer on a string – to be worn while outside.






CD Playing Alarm Clock in bedroom.  Did I mention he’s retired?




In general, he has an obsession with beginnings and endings.  When did the universe begin; when will it end – things which interest me not in the least. For him, we’re all on a timer and when the final buzzer sounds, we disappear into the nothingness from whence we emerged, dumb slime from a protoplasm (that’s what an obsession with pure science will do for you.)

His obsession with beginnings and endings is a mystery to me. I don’t believe in them. I think of time as one of those unending rivers at a high end resort where you float around and around in inner tubes until hungry.  Then you get out, satisfy your hunger and jump back in.

I must confess, I do not believe in time.
 - Vladimir Nabolokov


I guess that’s why I prefer to leave the endings of my stories to a reader’s imagination. In my defense, I’m not the first author to end with a question mark and not a happily ever after.  For example,Gone with the Wind doesn’t end with “and Rhett left and never came back.”  It ends with “tomorrow is another day,” thus giving more romantic readers the chance to imagine Scarlett eventually getting her way (yet again).


Guest room alarm – even our guests are not spared.

These quotes capture my feelings about time:

Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. Henry David Thoreau.

It takes a long time to become young. Pablo Picasso

How did it get late so soon? Dr. Seuss

How about you?  Are you a Joel or a Jan?

12 thoughts on “Fishing in the Stream called “Time”

  1. I’m a mix between a Joel and a Jan (a Jan-oel 🙂 ). I do “need” the books I read to have a solid ending (doesn’t need to be a happily-ever-after but all the danglers have to be tied up somehow) and if I have too much on my plate I can get a bit obsessed with time (Argh, slow down clock, I need more time to get this all done!). But, I also find that I feel most balanced/alive when I forget the clock and live in the moment. In the wise words of David Grayson: “The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. “Why,” I answered without a thought, “now.”

  2. Hey Jan! I’m most definitely a Jan. Time is so elastic and flexible, and all we really have is now. That goes for book endings too–I love books that lead readers in a certain direction but still leave some things to the imagination. Because who knows what might happen next?

  3. Well Joel might “win” but I do have a clock in every room and a thermometer in 4 – no make that 5 (I forgot the thermostat in the hall) and of course 2 or 3 outside. I wear a watch with a timer, have a timer on my desk, next to my bed (for naps) and in the kitchen.But whose counting? And I’m thinking about having timers installed on my hoses so I never forget to turn off the water again ( we are having a drought!).

    1. You beat him with the thermometers – he only has four: two outside back yard (one for the shade, the other for the sun), the clock/weather vane and a barometer near the front door!

  4. Actually, I’m a bit pushed for time now Jan. I was about to comment when I looked at my watch and thought “*uck, look at the time. I’ll come back to commenting tomorrow when I have time.” And then completely irrelevantly I remembered I’d stored a quote about cats from somebody somewhere. It took a bit of time to find it but here it is:

    My indoor cat once made a break for freedom when the back door was left slightly ajar. The moment he saw the gap, he bolted for great wild world beyond the walls.
    He made it about ten feet before he froze like a statue.
    I’m not kidding. When I picked him up didn’t even relax his posture… legs still sticking straight out from his body like a stuffed animal.
    I think it was due to sensory overload.

    1. I do feel sorry for those indoor cats, though if we let out Das Kat, he’d soon be gobbled up by the local raccoons. He’s a small one.

  5. Time can be a slippery little sucker… I’ve really worked hard to make a doable freelance schedule which has entailed filtering out all of the time-suck distractions that exist like Twitter, etc. I’m probably more of a Joel than a Jan when it comes to story endings.

    1. I will admit that I also make schedule and can quite a stickler about sticking to them but I draw the line at timing everything! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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