Time & Movement

When I attended a Feng Shui workshop, I found out that my birth element was Big Metal, which means I have big ideas but need to keep moving or I get stuck. When metal is heated, it becomes fluid. When it is cooled, it can have a purpose.

It’s no coincidence that I display clocks all over the house and bought two kinetic sculptures just before this Feng Shui workshop. Maybe it’s no coincidence that my father was handed down the hobby of a clock and watch repairman from his father and it was part of what I took with me from his time on earth. 

There is this old watch repair desk from the turn of the century, that still sits in the basement of my parent’s house, now my brother’s. To the left of the workspace is a storage room. To the right is a workbench. I saw the two spaces as bookends to time. One represented memories of days past and the other created new ideas and inventions. Through my eyes, the desk represented the present moment.

On the way to the desk, just before the door to memories, there was an active blackboard. My brother and dad would sketch out physics equations with the intentions of solving the mysteries of the Universe. I was an artist and didn’t dare disturb this process with my drawings. That present moment and interaction brought them great joy.

Just above the desk was a pegboard, which held all sorts of memories along with a hanging drawer cabinet that housed little moving parts. I remember organizing these drawers for my dad as a pre-teen and thinking how all those springs, sprockets, jewels, hands, and casings created something that worked. All by themselves, these parts were interesting, but together they kept track of time. 

When my dad worked on watches, he was all hunched over with a loop over his eye. It took a steady hand and a keen eye to position the springs and jewels just right. Even though my dad struggled with these skills, he mastered this task. I patiently watched his hands shake over the watch as the jewels, sprockets, and springs settled in place. It was like time stood still until we both started breathing faster once again. 

Money didn’t motivate my dad to fix clocks and watches. He did so out of love.

Some watches and clocks sat on his desk for a while. “Aren’t you gonna fix it?” I would ask. He would reply, “I don’t know if I can fix it. Just because I have opposable thumbs, doesn’t mean I can fix everything.”

Usually, the clocks and watches were from his church friends. Unfortunately, they sometimes sat on the desk until after the owner passed away. It’s almost like the watch died right before the person. I’m not sure if my dad was consciously aware of that. 

Sometimes my dad was motivated to fix broken timepieces so that he could pass it on to the next generation. Maybe he felt that the families needed to know about the clock’s history and cherish memories of their lost ones. Whatever the reason was, I felt that my dad was a facilitator for the timepieces. 

There was a period in my life when time seemed to stop. When you go inside to create in the present moment, time seems to slow down, but this was not the case. Time stopped and kept me outside myself and in the space where memories can make or break you. During this time, one of my pendulum clocks stopped working.  

Just recently, I found a clock kit, and my husband was able to rig a contraption that allowed the pendulum to move once more. I can’t tell you how excited I was to have this clock working. 

I can’t explain it, but the day the pendulum clock started working, things started moving. My business started moving. Big ideas became easier. While it wasn’t easy to pick up the pieces, parts of my life started moving with time. 

Just recently, I stood in the dining room with my mother-in-law trying to sort through plans for an upcoming 60th birthday party for my in-laws. We had two days to plan, and for some reason, I was very calm. The plans unfolded before me. 

My mother-in-law is partially deaf, yet she stood in the dining room with me and asked, “What do I hear?” I replied, “Oh, that’s our pendulum clock your son fixed. It hasn’t been working in a while. You are hearing the pendulum moving back and forth.”

The pendulum was speaking to us.

Some people say that being in the present moment is about being in the rhythm of time. It is with this realization that I shared this memory of the past, connected with the present moment, and began to move forward with the present moment and time.