There is nothing particularly clever about any individual watch, but it carries, like a little brain, our solution to daily struggles. We must reach places and events on time.

I’ve been on a recent mission to acquire a new watch. The two functions that my personal research deemed mandatory were 1. It had to be solar, and 2. It had to be radio-controlled. I did not want to change a dead battery, and I did not want to set the exact time. If the end of the month came, I did not want to waste any time deciphering the correct date. Who would?

I found what in my mind is the perfect watch — for me — and I won’t say what kind it is, and I won’t say how much it cost, but instead, I will only say that it is both solar and radio-controlled and it is the perfect watch. For me.

Now I have come to realize that this fanfare was not actually about a watch at all. No. I endure a severe brain injury, and this was an attempt at compensating for my failing brain. I might not be where I am supposed to be, and I am damn sure I am not certain why I am there, but I have reached my destination at exactly the right time. A stranger may approach me and ask the time, and I will be more than happy to give this person the absolutely correct answer.

A brain-injured life requires acceptance of defeat on a daily basis. Some of us, like myself, are just not wired this way. I had been of a mindset that if I gave something my full attention, then tried as hard as I could, I could certainly accomplish that goal. Now, I surrender to the fact that I will probably fail. At least, by traditional standards. But by damn if I am asked for the time, I can give a correct answer with a smile.

My watch is correct. Of that, I am certain.

As a writer, Murray Dunlap has published several books and is easily found online. As a clergy-spouse, he moved to Greenwood for his wife to be the new rector of Church of the Resurrection Episcopal.

Recommended for you