holding time in my hand


I saw some super cute trendy watches in a store last week.  They weren’t expensive and could be changed to match the outfit of the day like earrings are selected each morning. 

One of my colleagues mused that people don’t really wear watches anymore.  Our omnipresent smart phones have become not only our prime method of communication, but also our timekeepers.  And my colleague was right.  Even though I do wear a watch, I use my phone as a timekeeper and time-teller like everyone else does.

The Molly Stark watch made by Hampden Watch Co. over a hundred years ago still keeps  time. I found it in an antique store in Omaha, Nebraska when I was wandering around during a break in conference activities and ended up in the wonderful old part of the city.

I said to the lady “does it work?” and she said “yes, at least I think so but what can you expect for $32?” I took my chances and thought it would be a cool bracelet if nothing else.

When I wound the watch, something the youngsters of today would not understand at all, it worked.  In fact, it keeps time beautifully when wound each day.  It’s an intimate thing to wind the watch to not make time happen, but to mark time. To notice time.

Part of the allure of the watch is that over a hundred years ago, another woman wore this watch.  She went about her duties, maybe as a nurse as these watches were widely used then, and wound the watch everyday to mark her time.

And now I hold part of her time in my hands as well as my own. I like that.



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