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Time keeps on ticking.

Here’s how writer Joseph Carbone views Gippsland through the three hands of time.

Oct 19, 2021


Words: Joseph Carbone
Images: Djim Loic

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Rise and decay, rise and decay. The cycle of life. Time is our best and worst enemy, all at once! Blah blah blah… I’m going to try and use these stale ideas in a fresh way.

Here’s how I see Gippsland through the lens of time. Bear with me, as I use the most obvious crutch, the easiest metaphor for time:
The clock.

Ugh, I know. But, let’s see how it goes. I’m going to set this specific metaphor up so I can stop rambling. Ready? Dope.

The three hands on a clock all move at their own pace...

The three hands on a clock all move at their own pace, and function like a family: same goals and values, but with different personalities, and, therefore, methodologies. The second hand is the youngest and most energetic of the siblings, rushing about without much consequence. The minute hand is the level-headed middle child: not too fast and not too slow. The hour hand doles out what it pleases at its own leisure, moving with the considered pace only learned through a broader perspective. It doesn’t speak up often, but when it does, you hear it.

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Watch the clock do its thing in our neck of the woods:

The second hand ticks. Your team scores a goal.
The second hand ticks again.
You make a small, correctable mistake out on the tools.
The second hand ticks.
The dog starts yapping too loudly.
The second hand ticks.
Your six-year-old figures out a challenging word.

The minute hand ticks. The car’s coated in bloody dust again.
The minute hand ticks.
She’s just given you the eye out at the pub.
The minute hand ticks.
You meet up with mates and have a good one.
The minute hand ticks.
You meet up with mates and you feel like you’ve done this a few too many times.

The hour hand ticks. Pay rise.
The hour hand ticks
. Death in the family.
The hour hand ticks
. Paddocks become housing developments. More people, more business.
The hour hand ticks.
Mid Valley finishes construction.
The second hand ticks.
Morwell’s looking a bit dead today, isn’t it?
The minute hand ticks.
Another restaurant has come and gone. Does Commercial Road need more life?
The hour hand ticks.
Guess this is Morwell now. Ripped in half.
The hour hand ticks.
Geez, Traralgon is doing alright, isn’t it? So’s Moe, come to think of it.

The clock strikes twelve.
Traralgon flash floods.

This sequence template can be used to describe anything. Birth, death, bushfires, decaying machinery, children growing up; events good and bad happen unrelentingly, and denying this stone-cold fact is a fool’s errand. It’s how we face all these events and continue to the next ones that define us as a community. The mere fact that we persevere is inspiring enough to continue persevering (and so on and so on).

Thank you Gippsland, for... [the] grace and humanity.

So, thank you Gippsland, for copping the clock’s want with grace and humanity. Things move too quickly in the cities and too slowly anywhere else, and we’ve got the mixture just right – where nobody is too big for their boots and no-one too small.

A clock accounts for everything, and if we try our best to account for everyone, we’re doing alright. Time doesn’t stop, so the family within the clock continues ad infinitum, and the Gippsland family follows suit, our fortunes rising and falling like the tide.

If you don’t quite vibe with this, that’s totally fine. Just check your iPhone lock screen for the time, no hands there except your own.


Gippslandia - Issue No. 20

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