On Time’s Artifacts and Keepers

“Time passes and passes. It passes backward and it passes forward and it carries you along, and no one in the whole wide world knows more about time than this: it is carrying you through an element you do not understand into an element you will not remember. Yet, something remembers — it can even be said that something avenges: the trap of our century, and the subject now before us.”

No Name in the Street, by James Baldwin, Vintage Books, 2000, pp. 22.

Time is a continuum. We would not be here without the past, and that the future would not be here without what we now consider the present. Artifacts of time are as impermanent as the mortality of life. Whichever forms that emerge are meant to take place and take hold the way they are supposed to.

Great artists and their great creations play a crucial role in making recognizable marks in time. You look at one particular Waterman 42 Safety and you think, ah, that’s from 1920’s. You look at another Waterman 12 1/2 eyedropper and you think, wow, that is from the 1890’s. These are timekeepers. Their values are not only about the beautiful design and functionality but also the fact that they remind us of a time past, of a history that we did not get to mortally partake, yet by holding these pens in our hands, and especially by writing with them, we have now pieced together two points in time, carrying time forward.

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