Freedom from Daylight Saving Time

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

 From Janis Joplin’s recording of “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Today is spring-ahead day, and I have no clocks to reset, and I am having a through-the-looking-glass moment:  every clock that owns you represents a loss of liberty.

Ten years ago it would take me at least 24 hours to remember every clock whose altar I had to kneel at.

Resetting my wristwatch was obvious, and the clocks on the microwave and oven winked at me like the hos on the corner.

The alarm on the bedroom clock was set only the night before long-distance flights, but the LED display let me know how often I woke at night.

I never had wall clocks, but most people have one in the kitchen, and, whether for fashion or obsession, some have others in living rooms and bathrooms.

The clock on the dashboard of the car, sometimes escaped its benediction for a few days.  The clock that noted the time in the answering machine—remember, I am talking ten years ago—might be a week before it was attended to.

Today, I don’t wear a wristwatch, and the electricity to my microwave is disconnected after every use.  I don’t have a clock on the dashboard of the Jolly Swag.

I feel like I have forgotten a few clocks of old, but that’s a good thing, right?

I don’t care if my four-minute eggs are a minute off, or even ten.

I have a clock on my cell phone and one on my laptop.  They both know when DST turns on and off.  The cell phone even knows what time zone I am in.

I am still beholden to the calendar, but less and less.    I have an invitation to a regional bridge tournament in Raleigh in May.  And I see a note to myself about the NE Trek Club rally in September in New York.

Freedom is no clocks left to wind and nothing on the calendar.

So, bubele, how many clocks do you reset?



10 Responses to Freedom from Daylight Saving Time

  1. karen wittgraf says:

    That IS freedom – no clocks. My life IS clocks. My late husband was obsessed with old clocks and at one time had ten of them all chiming, all ticking loudly..some said “tick tock”, some said “tock, tick”. With the springing ahead, I am going to the grandfather clock, to the two wall clocks in the kitchen, to the musical clock in the den- and, of course, the stove, the alarm clocks to set the new time- hurridly, as though time will run away from me. And, they all tick away my life. I have to learn more about freedom.

  2. David Bauer says:

    Beginning with the Industrial Revolution and continuing with the Age of Computer Technology, metrical clocks have steadily gained increasingly structured control of our lives by parsing time into smaller and smaller fractional units. What is needed for our mental, physical and spiritual well being, on the other hand, is to measure our life time in relation to nature, so that we have summer, fall, winter and spring to reflect our orbit around the sun. Likewise, a lunar calendar can be used to reflect our connection to the moon’s orbit around the earth and its effects on us and on the world’s oceans. In turn, instead of counting the chronological years of our lives, we can choose to live in what Paul Tillich called the eternal now in which past and future are viewed as the abstractions that they are. That is, past and future are figments of imagination, while what is real is the experiential present. Said in another way the concepts of yesterday (past) and tomorrow (future) are abstracted from our experiencing self.
    It seems to me, Al, that these reflections of mine are at least one implication of your comments on clocks and time change. That is, unlike space, time is a fiction that we create as human beings in order to structure our lives, for better or worse. It seems to me that in your case, you are living more in tune with the natural world than you are with the technological one. You are an inspiration to many of us.

    • allevenson says:


      Your conclusions and Tillich’s are one’s I’ve come to in the last decade or two.

      I quite like the notion that the past and the future are imaginary. Until now, that idea is a step beyond my own thoughts.

      We live in the moment. Now. The past fades and the future is misty. The best we can do is expand the moment.

      Thanks for pushing my philosophical envelop.


      • David Bauer says:

        I think that the fact that you have learned to live in the moment with others when you meet them along the road is what enables you to establish relationships with them and to learn from them. In essence, like a singer such as Tony Bennett who is living the lyrics of each song when he sings it, you are able to enter the life space of each person that you meet because you are genuinely with them at the moment of encounter. It is also a quality that makes a good salesman. Interestingly, accomplished singers such a Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Carly Simon have spoken of the fact that they try to “sell the lyrics” of each song they sing.

      • allevenson says:

        “Living the lyrics and selling the lyrics,” an interesting perspective. Thanks, Dave.

  3. Chip says:

    Al – only chronometer I reset is my Suunto Advizor – a useful piece of kit that includes an altimeter, barometer and compass…

    Having lived in lands where men with guns would compel you to dance to their tunes or worse me thinks freedom involves more than clocks or calendars – may have something to do with not having to choose or be compelled to serve a master not of your liking.

    Nancy and i recently saw Act of Valor. An oft forgotten debt of gratitude is owed to those unsung heros who make it possible for you and others to kneel – or not – at altars of your own and not others choosing…

  4. bbethany7 says:

    People often ask me when I’ll go on holiday. My response: I’ve been on holiday for 15 years.

  5. We have three to reset. The rest–our cellphones, a sat-connected radio clock–set themselves..

  6. Colleen Rae says:

    A fascinating blog…living in the moment is the way to get the most out of life; so is my belief.
    You are a shining example – thanks.
    Regarding clocks – I always leave my watch behind whenever I go on vacation or travel. I figure I don’t have to be anywhere but where I am – at that moment.
    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose – is a fine philosophy to live by, as Kris Krissopherson wrote..He was in the moment when he wrote those words.
    Writing puts the writer in the moment also. Or I should say, it can do this. If one stresses about the next word that should be written, it doesn’t work, but if one lets the words flow…it is spiritually releasing…

  7. tanya grove says:

    In a moment of spontaneous rebellion, I once flung my watch across a room. It felt very liberating. I won’t lie—I eventually put it back on. But I’ve tucked that brief period of freedom in an inner pocket and occasionally draw on its lesson.

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