Inspiration through horology
It’s been a busy week, even if it doesn’t feel like I’ve achieved very much. Certainly no writing (of the fictional variety, unless you count my CV and job applications, but they aren’t really fiction, merely the best representations of reality…), far less editing than intended—but lots of planning, lots of thinking, and lots of talking and listening. Talking because I’ve been caught up in the whole Audioboo movement that Annie & Jodi mentioned at the start of the week.
So it has been a somewhat desk-bound week this week. Which is quite fortuitous, since I got a whole new desk and everything as you will remember from last week’s post. And it all segues nicely into the prompt for this week (courtesy of The Publicity Hound), which is:
What’s the most unusual thing in your office that inspires, entertains or humors you?
I have a number of inspirational items in my office. The Writer’s Block I mentioned last week that I put inspirational quotes into. My wedding photo. I’ve got unusual things too. A Beanie Baby Grim Reaper. A finger puppet Julia made.
If I may be permitted something that is in my office, but usually carried on my person, then I can give you something both inspirational and unusual; my pocket watch.
But it is unusual for being a pocket watch. Who uses them these days? Not many. The site of me fishing it out from the mysterious fifth pocket on my jeans (bet you always thought that pocket was for loose change) or from out of a waistcoat pocket draws stares.
And it is inspirational for what it is. Complex simplicity, simplicity through complexity. I love clockwork—the idea that the simplest of ideas, turning wheels, could be applied over and over to create an item that keeps time regularly, that predicts sunrise and sunset, that records the date, all through the regular turning of gears, wheels, and the tension of springs. It is elegant in a way that modern watches, particularly digital watches, can never be.
For someone so firmly wedded to the digital, it is a curiously analogue item. But everything about it says beauty, elegance, simplicity and order, even though I understand the sheer complexity behind it and devices like it.
It also reminds me of the ideas that I have. I’m increasingly drawn to the world of steampunk, the steam and clockwork driven scifi worlds decorated in Victoriana. And the quiet ticking in my pocket is an incessant engine driving me forward with the idea in my head, an idea I’ll reveal more about later in the year.
To paraphrase a great spiritual leader, it is an elegant timepiece, for a more civilised age.
So that’s my unusual yet inspirational object. Show me yours.