“Don’t Forget To Wind The Restricted Clock And Put The Confidential Cat Out”

Read on for insights on what the heck this means
Photo Credits: A recreation of Jill Masterson’s golden body in the film Goldfinger is seen on display in the exhibition Designing 007
July 11, 2024

To balance the ordinary with the extraordinary, the mundane with the mysterious, and the simple with the profound… that’s what this life is all about. In those moments when we find ourselves tired of everything, too tired to think or even care—when the clock clearly needs rewinding but all we can do is just stare vapidly at it—THAT my friendly Sage is the moment to just keep staring. Because that is when a curious, sly and rather unpredictable cat within our soul is longing to be let out. 

I recently experienced some weeks of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, leaving me vapid in thought and sapped of energy. And it inspired me to compose this (attempt at a) poem, if you will:

 

Tired Of Being Tired

Here I stand, the model of Do-Right

Each day, morning, noon, n’ night, 

The first to rise, the last to snooze.

It’s cook n’ clean, n’ perfunctory blues!

With family and duties, all chores they implore, 

Groceries, amazon f’rever at my door. 

 

My eyes feel heavy, my face looks droopy, 

Outside it’s gray n’ gloomy n’ poopy.

That double espresso was an honest trap,

Cuz first I went Brrrrrup! n’ then I went Blaaaap!

I’m worse off than b’fore and it’s only eleven!

Oh where and when is my seventh heaven?

 

I’m tired, sick n’ tired of being tired.

That I’ve had my fill, on my face has transpired.

Tired of being required, tired of days uninspired

Want only to feel admired and even desired.

Oh this monotonous game is a crying shame,

It’s all the same, now everything’s to blame!

 

Can’t get my words out in the right order,

Lose emails n’ passwords, oh blasted disorder!

The foul-mouthed profanities I let go astray. 

I do n’ I do, but Damn it, where is my play? 

 

ALTHOUGH…. 

 

Could it be, that I tire me, that it’s ME all this quandary? 

If I sang and I smiled, would it then be drudgery?

Could it be, I’m caught up in the futility 

Of overthinking my tired n’ haggard agony?

That instead of slumping in sluggish glum,

I might puff out my chest, and let curiosity come?

 

If I deserted my chores, to which I’d return, 

Could I allow myself a brief motivational downturn?

My arms, my legs, my mind need downtime. 

To listen, watch, in the hush b’fore the chime.

I shall wait to rewind and let Life ensue

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got nothing to attend to. 

 

In his book, Welcome to the Monkey House, Kurt Vonnegut in his typical whimsical and surreal style, addresses this life conundrum. That the mundane tasks and responsibilities of our lives happen in the midst of the chaos of our minds and the mysteries of our souls. As I interpret it, “don’t forget to wind the restricted clock and put the confidential cat out” metaphorically touches upon the notion of balancing the routine, monotonous, ordinary and mundane with all that is deeper, more extraordinary and mysterious. It’s all a tremendous balancing act which can be dreadfully tiresome at times. But what can we do to manage with more ease?  

If we think about our lives, two interesting themes come up, that of freedom and that of change. We all craft stories in our heads which we use to explain everything to ourselves and to those around us, stories which then shape our very reality without our consciously knowing it. But we must be careful, for our crafted tales can work in our favor, or completely against us. For instance, we might possess freedom and privilege in our lives, but tell narratives (as I do in this poem) which depict us as trapped either by our family, our work, our health, our finances, our past, or our future. We criticize and compare our lives to supposed or imagined better ones, and then reinforce our sense of despair and confinement each time we tell our tale. The thing, my dear Anyone-Who-Can-Relate, is that we fail to recognize the opportunities for liberation because we are too wrapped up in our story and who knows, (perhaps also subconsciously) too daunted by the idea of freedom. Many of us desire a change. But we don’t want to change. What we want is for others or the circumstances around us to change.

And we pretend like this is logical.

But for those with more logic, how do we change or allow for a change according to our desires? Being tired can force us into a “meditative” mode. The idea is to allow ourselves a blank moment in time, a blank narrative for only a while, if you will. It feels strange and uncomfortable, but it leaves room for possibility. It allows us to erase any stories which don’t serve us anymore and it makes space for our curious “confidential cat” to come stealthily out from hiding. And beware, cats are unpredictable. 

Self-discovery is big now. We all talk about getting to know ourselves, but part of getting to know ourselves also means “unknowing” ourselves. And once we’ve unwound, or unplugged, and allowed the mischievous cat its freedom, we can create a new and refreshing story. And see how that goes 😉🤷‍♀️.

Bag design for @bergdorfs- designed and hand painted in oil by @jennymwalton

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