Of all the weird thoughts that have come to me over the years, one I’m a little obsessed with is how much quiet there used to be in the world.
Before TV, sure.
But even further back.
Before you could hear any sound without being there with that sound.
It’s a little spooky to think about it nowadays, but a deeper part of me knows that it must have been so much more peaceful in George Washington’s electricity-less, phone-less, Internet-less house.
And peaceful is what I want when I’m falling asleep.
This is a really roundabout way to introduce the most beautiful thing in my bedroom (besides my husband and myself, of course), but it makes sense to me. Because electronics and devices are so loud, even when they’re being quiet.
Just look at your cell phone over there you’re using as an alarm clock. Yes, it will wake you up at 6:15AM. But it will also keep you up by staring at you, promising Facebook updates and texts and emails and even just through sheer electromagnetic energy.
So, please to meet this clock (AC01 from Punkt.), which is beautiful, quiet, and NOT connected to the Internet.
If you recognize Punkt. it’s because I fell deeply in love with their “dumbphone.” It was going to be the highlight of my 2017 to tell you all about my smartphone-free month, but it turns out I didn’t do my research and the phone wouldn’t work on my network, so I had to send my love in the mail to a T-Mobile blogger in Seattle.
(Curious about dumbphones? There’s a whole series of goodness about doing a smartphone detox here. Maybe I will join them when Punkt. releases a 4G phone!)
Anyway, this clock gives me a taste of that peace where I can step into my room and not be hounded by my phone, my husband’s phone, or our iPad. It’s like a little nudge back to the simplicity of life before THE WORLD was in your bedroom and it was just a quiet place to go to sleep and read and be.
And if you like reading about that stuff, I have to say the Punkt. library is packed with good titles, and a recent blog post by Alain de Botton nails this very feeling:
The Danish painter Kersting hints at the virtues of the sleepless state. We can guess that it’s very late for the man reading in his study; more conventional people have long ago turned in, but the man has stayed up, to finish a book, to think, to talk with a long-forgotten person: himself. Late at night is when big things may at last have a chance to happen in the mind. During the day, we are dutiful to others. At night we return to a bigger duty: to ourselves.
Night is a corrective to the demands of the community. I may – in daytime hours – be a dentist or a maths teacher, a parent or a politician but night is a reminder that I am also a nameless, limitless consciousness, a far more expansive, un-anchored figure, of infinite possibilities and rare, disturbing, ambivalent, peculiar, visionary insights. The thoughts of night would sound weird to my mother, my friend, my boss, my child. These people need us to be a certain way. They cannot tolerate all our possibilities and for some good reasons. We don’t want to let them down; they have a right to benefit from our predictability. But their expectations can choke off important aspects of who we are. At night, with the window open and a clear sky above, it is just us and the universe – and for a time, we can take on a little of its boundlessness.
Of course, this can be accomplished with any kind of non-digital clock (or no clock at all) but I think we all know how important design is. So this sweet-looking, steel, and (in my case) red pop makes all the difference. But you do you.
So, click here, fall in love, and tell me about your bedtime routines (minus bed pans) in the comments!