TimeTime, especially this time of year, has a paradoxical quality to it. There’s never enough of it as we busily shop, bake and decorate for Christmas. There’s way too much time as we anxiously anticipate with mixed expectations the gifts, other surprises, and even disappointments, of the season.

As a collage artist, I’ve been collecting images of watches for several decades. Few of these watches have ever been incorporated into a piece of art, but I ardently keep watch for time pieces in magazine ads. Despite the fact that most would require a significant loan to purchase, they all have a distinctive quality. One that I’ve come to relish, particularly this time of year. With few exceptions over the years, all time pieces, clocks or watches, are set at the same time.

Ten minutes after ten.

There’s nothing magical about that specific time. It’s about the position of the hands. It’s about the posture of open-armed praise they represent. A posture that watchmakers, and ad execs, hope will say, “Buy me!”

But if you move beyond the cynical marketing techniques intended to manipulate us, what an appropriate posture for a time piece to have during Advent, the season of preparation and waiting. Not for purchasing gifts, baking cookies, or decorating a tree. Nor for the presents we hope are under the tree, the Christmas cards we hope to receive…and often don’t, or the time with family and friends we hope for will be more satisfying than it often actually is.

Nope, this time of open-armed praise is in preparation and waiting for the coming King. Everything else is a sluggish second hand in comparison.

May the remainder of this complicated time of year be a 10:10 experience for you and yours. A time of consciously open-armed praise for the real reason for the season.

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