(Ballard Designs photos)
Tempus fugit is a Latin expression first recorded by Roman poet Virgil. The translation from Latin says:
“Time flees irretrievably, while we wander around, prisoners of our love of detail”.
Tempus fugit inscription was first seen on a sundial, today is found often on clocks. Up until the Babylonian invented the sundial, later perfected by the Greeks, people measured time with the raising and fall of the sun; with the change of weather they could tell what season they were in.
The need to have a device that would measure time rose in the Middle Age, around the 1300s when people’s life started to revolve around the concept “time is money” and if they could measure time they would know in a precise way how to dedicate the best time of the day to a productive work, when to stop for eating, when to return to work and when the day was over. Before the advent of clocks these tasks were measured by feelings, if they felt hungry they ate and if they felt tired they stopped.
The first clocks, mostly made of iron and very heavy in weight ended up on church towers to mark the church functions, the monks’ performances at different hours and to call in the faithful to take part of the religious life. The mechanical clocks came about three centuries later along with the pendulum and grandfather clocks, which we still enjoy in home décor today.
Many European countries invented each their own style of clocks, some were incased in beautiful wood species, furniture, or metal, some hung on the wall, some were made as table clock or fireplace mantel clock, some were lantern clocks surmounted over a large bell and some were even portable. One example of a portable clock, the musk-ball watch, struck me in particular. It had the shape of a ball with many holes pierced to let out the scent of herbs contained inside. The belief was that carrying herbs on the body would fight infection and certainly some stench, I agree with the latter, but why attach it to women’s girdle and not on top of the dress? It would have been easier to hear and see the time when the musk-ball watch would strike the hour with a sound. Curious, spicy episodes fill history and I am curious to learn them all.
Going back to Tempus Fugit, our perception tells us time flies, but time is space doesn’t exist. Often people waste time with nothing in particular, importance or urgency at any given moment. We know that time wasted is not recyclable and we feel guilt when we do waste it. However, I think that to allow some “nothing” time it is beneficial for our well-being and mind health, but only if we know how to balance nothing time with working time and achievements of the day.
I read this fascinating article on “What is Time?” http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/02/what-is-time/
Physicist Sean Carroll in explaining his theory of what time is, talks about the idea of entropy, a measure of how disorderly things are in the Universe, which started 13.7 billion years ago in a state of a perfect order, in a very low entropy and now looks like a giant mess in a high state of entropy.
We record time by recording the past, that’s our memory of time, today is still in the making, thus time really doesn’t matter yet and tomorrow doesn’t exist.
As Deepak Chopra says: “Today is a gift that’s why is called Present”.
We cannot trap time even if we try to measure it with clocks that can only mark the passing of our days and our activities. We can only follow time and be happy to live it, hopefully in full.
If we ought to decorate with clocks, how would we use them? In my house I have clocks everywhere, not because I am worried about time passing, but because I like to collect them. Each marks a different time, that’s my way of fooling time, or fooling myself, either way works for me.
A large clock in a small entry will definitively make a statement; a clock in a studio room will remind you to get up from the desk every seventy-five minutes and do office stretches; a mud room space with a clock will send a message that it is time to neatly tidy it up; a bedroom with clocks hanging from the ceiling speaks playtime, but what I really like is to fill up a wall with all bunch of clocks without any rule, in a high entropy just like the state of the Universe today. This would be a composition of clocks that doesn’t really tell time, but it reminds you it is time to be playful and to keep up with what matters the most in life.
I thought you might enjoy the Clocks by Coldplay: http://youtu.be/XbI1FpLd4Vk
As the professional who is always ready, I shall be prompt and ready to help you with any of your holiday needs, whether it will decorating, designing, or remodeling. Let me know by leaving your name down below, in which area you would like me to help you. Ciao,
Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works on consultation and produces design concepts for remodeling, upgrading, new homes, décor restyling and home fashion. “Vogue Italy” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15.
She is the author of three books available on