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Adele Elliott: Saving time


Adele Elliott



I love the concept of saving daylight. It makes me think of that old Jim Croce song, "Time In A Bottle." Both are lovely ideas, an odd mixing of magic and miracle. 


The absurdity of "saving" time or daylight is amusing in its illogic. Humans created clocks and calendars to define the ephemeral. Then, in recent years, we changed the rules. Suddenly, we can reset clocks for our own purposes. 


I''ve never liked watches. There is something quite irritating about having time strapped to my body. It is as creepy to me as if an ugly bug had landed on my wrist. I want to shake it off in repulsion. Some people dislike scratchy fabrics, or certain colors or specific smells. I have an aversion to the constraints of time. 


As a teen, I wore watches because I liked the style, the face or the band. But, I would set the hands to whatever hour I wanted. Classmates soon learned not to ask me for the time because they were dissatisfied with the nonsensical answer. 


I watched as they processed the information for a second or two. Then a look of confusion swept over their face, probably thinking that I was weird. 


In New Zealand, a woman put a clever twist on another impossible sort of trapping. She "captured" two ghosts in a bottle of holy water and actually sold them in an auction. Insane? Perhaps. But, a cigarette company bought them for about $1,400 (, March 10). After paying the exorcist''s fee of $100, that was certainly a nice profit. 


I often wonder what to do with all the wine bottles that I empty. How nice it would be if lost souls, or cherished memories, or even sparks of daylight, could be jammed down those narrow necks to be released on dreary days. In my case, the best spirits were in them when full. 




No Dead Authors 


Those who love quirky stories will want to meet Michael Kardos. He is an English professor at Mississippi State University, and editor of the literary journal, Jabberwock Review. 


I love his story, "Population 204." It begins with a rather ordinary conversation between employees at the "Wawa" food mart. One tells the others that her 83-year-old grandmother has broken her hip. No big surprise there. Soon, the reader learns the grandmother fell off the tightrope she was walking. Now, that is unexpected. 


Michael has a very impressive résumé, from his boyhood on the Jersey shore, to Princeton, to a professional drummer and award-winning writer. He is no stuffy academic. 


Michael Kardos will be the honored guest at "No Dead Authors" Sunday, March 21, at 2 p.m. at The Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main St., Columbus. 


To hear more from his work and experiences, please join us. As always, "No Dead Authors" is free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided by the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. 


Most of us set our clocks forward last night, a manipulation that means so little in this vast universe. Even Jim Croce knew that when he wrote "Time In A Bottle." Almost every verse begins with the word "if." 


The woman in New Zealand is reportedly happy to be rid of those uninvited, and invisible, houseguests, who tickled her neck and moved her things around. Nice, too, that she found a generous bidder. 


I suppose, for the rest of us, the best we can do is to fill our moments with good literature, humor and an occasional glass of wine. These are our bright moments worth saving. 



Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.


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Reader Comments

Article Comment David commented at 3/17/2010 8:14:00 PM:

Adele, you have such a way with words. I look forward to reading your column every Sunday. Keep that seat warm on your porch for some future gathering and we might just fall into some bottled spirits....xo


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