Friday, January 22, 2016

Time is not money.

Time is not money. 

It was this thought which came to my mind after a conversation with Terry Elliott and Daniel Bassill.

I noted a Vialogues of that meeting, entitled "Breaking down walls, opening minds.." here for future return to.

I thought to myself that I would have an hour.

I looked up at the time.

It was way over an hour.

I had the impression that we had been speaking for ten minutes.

I had to go.

"Where did Monday go?"

Part of my childhood had died the week before.

Was there life on Mars?

It was on the radio in that purple painted bedroom of mine.

I might have been ten.

It, a spaceman, had been closed in a wardrobe.

I was fifty three now.

Time is not money.

It is at times a simple calculation.

Poverty is not a state to aspire to.

I looked around the bare walls.

Space swallowed me in a ten metre square.

There seemed little reason to walk from one end of the box to the other.

My head beat against the walls inside my head.

I had to go.

I couldn't stay still.

Life wouldn't let me.

No matter what you or I say.

Time is not money.

I found myself in a one metre square box, selling dreams in printed boxes.

Time wasn't money.

I did what I could to call time on poverty.

Day after day, I sold little paper boxes and received a little paper envelope with little paper money.

There were a few coins.

It was barely better than poverty but it felt like a way out.

I felt I had achieved something.

There was something about freedom about not allowing oneself to think.

Oh, the pleasure of absent-minded, soulless busyness!

It felt like success!

Get high!

It was barely better than poverty but it felt like a way out.

How can those in extreme poverty know joy?

Is it joy to accept our little lot?

A way out. 

There was a reason to redouble efforts to find the way out.

Love was it.

Poverty with sunshine was an improvement.

Of all the very limited choices open to someone who doesn't speak the language, teaching one's language seemed the most attractive.

A choice not open to those with the wrong language.
A choice not open to those without the right education.

(Would cleaning boxes at night and sleeping while the sun shone have felt like an improvement?

Would love be enough?

For how long?)

How long can absent busyness feel like liberation?
How long can absent hedonism feel like life?

Time brings acceptance.
Does time bring acceptance?
Who cares for time - those who don't count?

Time is not money.

This is not the post that I intended to write.

It was to be something quite different.

It slipped out.

Day after day when I want to write nothing...

I end up writing this.

This is madness.

How does one find meaning in one's existence?

Is it by accident?

Is it like this -  an accident?

I am at peace to write.

I glance over at the clock.

Time is not money.

I am just an English teacher.

I should know my place.

"Don't start getting ideas above your position."

I know there are others who seem quite content with such a lot.

Are they lying?

The rest are none of my business.

I am a fragment of their, of my fragmented existence.

Surely not even a speck.

Two hours here, two hours there, make merry, it shall not last.

Time is not money.

While it lasts...

Take your little paper envelope.

"Now hush!"

I shall not just take.

Time is nothing.

So what is money?

I will be at peace.


"Safety Last!"

Harold Lloyd Clock Scene from "Safety Last!" 

The film opens in 1922 with Harold Lloyd (the character has the same name as the actor) behind bars. His mother and his girlfriend, Mildred, are consoling him as a somber official and priest show up. The three of them walk toward what looks like a noose. It then becomes obvious they are at a train station and the "noose" is actually a trackside pickup hoop used by train crews to receive orders without stopping, and the bars are merely the ticket barrier. He promises to send for his girlfriend so they can get married once he has "made good" in the big city. Then he is off.
He gets a job as a salesclerk at the De Vore Department Store, where he has to pull various stunts to get out of trouble with the picky and arrogantly self-important head floorwalker, Mr. Stubbs. He shares a rented room with his pal "Limpy" Bill, a construction worker.
When Harold finishes his shift, he sees an old friend from his hometown who is now a policeman walking the beat. After he leaves, Bill shows up. Bragging to Bill about his supposed influence with the police department (when in reality he merely knows that this particular policeman would not arrest either of them for a harmless prank, since Harold is an old friend of his), he persuades Bill to knock the policeman backwards over him while the man is using a callbox. When Bill does so, he knocks over the wrong policeman. To escape, he climbs up the façade of a building. The policeman tries to follow, but cannot get past the first floor; in frustration, he shouts at Bill, "YOU'LL DO TIME FOR THIS! THE FIRST TIME I LAY EYES ON YOU AGAIN, I'LL PINCH YOU!"
Meanwhile, Harold has been hiding his lack of success by sending his girlfriend expensive presents he cannot really afford. She mistakenly thinks he is successful enough to support a family and, with his mother's encouragement, takes a train to join him. In his embarrassment, he has to pretend to be the general manager, even succeeding in impersonating him to get back at Stubbs. While going to retrieve her purse (which Mildred left in the manager's office), he overhears the real general manager say he would give $1,000 to anyone who could attract people to the store. He remembers Bill's talent and pitches the idea of having a man climb the "12-story Bolton building", which De Vore's occupies. He gets Bill to agree to do it by offering him $500. The stunt is highly publicized and a large crowd gathers the next day.
When a drunkard shows "The Law" (the policeman who was pushed over) a newspaper story about the event, the lawman suspects Bill is going to be the climber. He waits at the starting point despite Harold's frantic efforts to get him to leave. Finally, unable to wait any longer, Bill suggests Harold climb the first story himself and then switch his hat and coat with Bill, who will continue on from there. After Harold starts up, the policeman spots Bill and chases him into the building. Every time Harold tries to switch places with Bill, the policeman appears and chases Bill away. Each time, Bill tells his friend he will meet him on the next floor up. Eventually, Harold reaches the top, despite his troubles with a clock and some hungry pigeons, and kisses his girl. She continues to believe that he's general manager of De Vore.

Image Credit.


  1. "I am at peace to write."

  2. I am at peace to write and happy in your company Kevin.
    Thank you.

  3. My addition to the Hackpad

    The absence of my acceptance barely filled the boxes.
    In the busyness by choice I felt the fragments.
    Framents of hours
    The metre in mind was about money
    I open the Paper...poverty, poverty poverty
    Something had to happen
    Somebody had to write on the walls
    "Time is not money."