By Martin Falatic
He slips a slender tool under the edge of the timepiece, parting the cover from the body and exposing the inner workings. The wheels, springs and gears move rhythmically as they tick away the moments. While some parts are worn by the passage of time, time is still marked accurately enough. The tinkerer is fascinated by the movements and pokes and prods the mechanism, pausing a gear here or tweaking a spring there. The mainspring stretches, a gear loses a tooth, and the ticking becomes slightly discordant. His curiosity builds, and he starts to remove pieces, methodically deconstructing the running watch until it is nothing more than a small pile of fine parts, motionless on his workbench. He learns nothing of what makes the watch tick and cannot hope to reassemble it. Sweeping the pieces away into the bin, he readies his tools for another attempt at an understanding of the vibrant whole that will never come from its broken parts.