In the last couple of weeks, I have done an exhaustive search on the internet of all things "9" and fallen down a rabbit hole! I've learned that the atomic number 9 belongs to fluorine, the most electronegative and reactive of all elements, Cloud 9 comes from the US Weather Bureau description of the very highest cumulonimbus clouds, and on Billboard magazine's 55th Anniversary: All-Time Top 100 Songs, "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone comes in at number 9. Perhaps most relevantly, in numerology, the number 9 has many meanings. In a cycle, the number 9 can mean the final stage of something, but, this also indicates that the beginning of something new is right around the corner. And here it is......
It turns out that the standard time for a snooze function on an alarm clock is 9 minutes. When the first mechanical alarm clocks were built, the snooze gear needed to fit around the cogs that were already in the time piece. Because of the space constraints, they basically had two options: slightly over nine minutes or slightly over 10. Popular belief was that 10 minutes was too long and would allow a person to slip into a deeper sleep, so nine minutes became the standard. Most digital alarms today could be programmed to have a snooze of any length, but nine minutes has remained the standard and default on most of them. I used to use the snooze button when I was younger, but as I've gotten older, I haven't for years, hardly needing a clock at all to remind me to get up and deal with all that needs to be done and how little time there is to do it!
But, I remember, as a teenager, first becoming aware of ever-present passing of time. I gave a lot of thought to the concept, turning it over and over in my mind. One morning, in the few minutes before I had to get up, I drifted into a dream. I was walking in a sunlit forest near an old stone wall, and as I got closer, I was greeted by an unknown figure, inviting me to visit a place that had no time. They explained that it was just through this door and I was welcome to enter, if I chose. Thrilled by the offer, I eagerly stepped up to the door in the stone wall, opened it, and walked through. As the door closed behind me (with a metal clunk, like something on a cell block), all the light in the world disappeared and I gasped for breath, but it wouldn't come. I woke with a start and realized that all of this had transpired in only a moment's time since I'd last looked at the clock.
I got the message - without time, there is nothing but darkness and nothing can exist.....but I wondered how the minutes I had walked through a forest and into an alternate universe could be nothing more then seconds in my waking life? Time is elusive and untamed, it comes and it goes....but where does it go? Why do unbearable moments last forever? And joyous moments, so fleeting? What about when we are immersed in the things we love?
All of this provokes thought, and thus I ask that, in the coming 'time' between now and October 27th, you create a piece of art which will display your commentary, opinion, wonder, or, simply, thought relating to where the time goes.