As writers, even the smallest thing can provide a spark of inspiration. In the last post of my informal series on inspiring objects, Evangeline Denmark commented on her love of old clocks, another item which has always intrigued me, and she brought up the excellent issue of their symbolism.
There’s almost endless variety in clock appearance, and each type of timekeeping device speaks much about the society that produced it. The culture of grandfather clocks and pocket watches is decidedly different from that of digital clocks and wrist watches. Without clocks and the ability to monitor time in a specific fashion, the pace of life would look very different–something to consider when creating fantasy realms.
Moreover, clocks add a strong element of symbolism as a recurring object in any kind of story. Time shapes our perception of life, and clocks provide a precise measurement of time–an ordering to our days. They provide a seeming continuity to time and offer regularity amid chaos. The very fact that they measure the temporal can also remind of the eternal and the God who exists unbound by time. In short, they’re rife with meaning that can be adjusted to fit any particular story or world.
Without further ado, here are some lovely examples of real world clocks:
Image credit: Corrafig
Image credit: Michael Vadala
Image credit: Atirme
Image credit: TW Collins
And a question for you…would you like to see more in the inspiring objects series?