08/07/2012 04:18 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2012

It's Blue O'Clock. Do You Know Where You Are?

By Leigh Newman

This weekend, so many of us will be craning our faces towards the sky, to watch fireworks. The truth is, though, we should probably all be looking up a lot more.

About a week ago, I stumbled on the website nyskyc.com, which updates "the average color of the new york sky" every five minutes via digital photographs taken by a rooftop camera. For New Yorkers, these graduated blue squares must serve as a gentle reminder to take their eyes off the pavement every once in a while and feel the blue--or the black--depending on the hour. What every skyscraper scrapes up against is, after all, what astronomers more reverently call the celestial sphere.

But I had to wonder what life would be like if all of us--in New York and everywhere else in the world--measured time as it's pictured here: not in numbers, but in colors linked to the natural world. What would life be like, say, if it were azure o'clock? Or deep navy pm? Or aquamarine in the morning? Sure, it's a little hokey. But maybe taking the numbers away--and all the counting, and adding and subtracting--that goes along with them would help relieve that sense that time is always moving too fast or too slow, that there is too much time or never, ever enough.

A clock based on colors would more emphatically remind us, too, where time comes from--the turning of the earth, the slim scrap of heaven that we are currently floating by in this much, much larger universe.