22
Mar
11

It’s About Chime

Every hour, on the hour, a church in my neighborhood plays the Westminster chimes. I gave up wearing a watch years ago in favor of the time on my cell phone. Checking the time is almost more of an obsession now that it’s not literally on me, so I always know what time it is — usually because I am running late for something. The time-worn chime of those bells is totally superfluous, but there is some comfort in its regularity. It has not given up on us, if we care to listen.

I love those moments when I accidentally catch them. Usually I’m too busy, or I’m just not paying attention. Granted, the last time I heard them, I was sitting on the toilet. I find that shitting rivals showers and mowing the lawn for the moment I am most alone, in my own head. But hearing those bells reminds me to be quiet, to listen. Those chimes remind me it’s ok to pause for as many seconds as it takes to sound out 9, 10, 11 rings, and to count along, even though I already know exactly what time it is. (Apparently the church’s clock runs two minutes behind the time kept by AT&T.) Sometimes it’s just good to count along. Then you take a breath. Then you get back to work.

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