Broken Clocks and Broken People

There’s a silly proverb that says a broken clock is right two times a day.  Not too profound.  However, if you compare the broken clocks to clocks that supposedly work, you’d be surprised at how the broken clocks come out!


Working clocks can only approximate the correct time.  The odds of them being right-on-the-money are practically impossible.  Even if they were, no clock would be able to remain on that time, being either a little faster or a little slower.


So a working clock is never exactly right. 


Of course, it’s very close and that’s worth a lot.  As long as your clock’s within a minute or so of exact time, it’s helpful.  But there’s a beauty in the idea of the broken clock that’s worth exploring:


The broken clock can do something that the working clock can never do:  be exactly right.  It may not be useful, but twice a day it’s aligned in a mystical way with the cosmos.  It gets to be perfect!


I think about broken people and functional people.  Functional people are rarely if ever perfect.  The best they can do is approximate their best selves.


They go through life aligning themselves with things that make them generally successful, generally happy, and hopefully generally prosperous.  They know they’ll never attain perfection, and they’re okay with that.


This is an enviable state.  And yet, it’s not accurate to say that broken people are the opposite.  I suspect that broken people have one advantage over functional folks.


I believe that, like the broken clock, broken people have the capacity to align with the universe.  They can’t stay that way, but for moments they are clearer and more powerful than any functional person.  Some great artists and thinkers have been broken people who had astounding moments that changed the world.


So if you feel you’re a broken person, it could be that you have an opportunity that functional people don’t.  By being still, contrary, broken, you may find that the universe comes to align itself upon you every once in a while.  You may be able to offer a universe that’s moving through and past you the fullest extent of yourself and all the gifts you have to share.



News From a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books

It's been a slow week!  So this is a good time to remind everyone that I publish my books one chapter at a time for free reading at Author's Den.  We're currently halfway through my fantasy novel, The Blue Woman and the High Wood.  Read all the previous chapters to get caught up, and then check every Wednesday for the next one!

It's also my 50th birthday today, so there's that.

You can see previous features on my press tab.


  • Vincent Moore

    Vincent Moore

    Hey Adam--Happy Birthday. I enjoy your blog posts; keep up the good work. --Vince

    Hey Adam--Happy Birthday. I enjoy your blog posts; keep up the good work.


  • Suzanne


    Happy Birthday, Adam! Insightful, as always. 😊

    Happy Birthday, Adam! Insightful, as always. 😊

  • Rick


    Happy birthday amigo!

    Happy birthday amigo!

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