Noting the Time

| 3/8/2013 6:38:50 AM

Within our little cabin we have two clocks. One, on the north side of the house, sits atop my childhood bookcase, alongside our kitchen table. Made of pottery, it takes the shape of a stuffed armchair. When a young girl, I painted and fired it as an arts and crafts adventure. The upright portion of the “chair” is hollowed out just enough to hold a clock face. It keeps reliable time, silently marking the passing of each minute. The second clock is by our south window, perched on the shelf atop our desk. It is a wind-up clock, one that Ryan has had for years, gold colored, and with a penchant for racing ahead of itself.

The first clock is noticeable for its shape. The second is memorable for its tick.

two clocks 

Indeed, I well remember my first attempts at sleeping alongside this audible timepiece ... for, yes, it once sat beside our bed. I tried burying my head in my pillow, stuffing the covers into my ears, piling my clothes on top of the clock: while somehow melodic during the day, the tick-tock was certainly more pronounced by night. Though I rather liked the clock’s presence for perceptible marking of time, I undeniably had a hard time accustoming myself to sleeping alongside such a tick-tocking roommate. 

It is a luxury that the floor and a half of our cabin now separate the clock and I with just enough wood and space that sleep comes easy. Well rested, my fondness for this teller of time continues to deepen. 

It is interesting how the clock’s ticking smoothly fades into the background — as one would expect — as conversation, dishes, or the stacking of wood dominate my thoughts. Even in the course of silent acts such as reading, writing, or watching the fire, the tick-tock seems to ebb and flow of its own accord. At times, it is a metronome, the statement of a second: loud, overbearing, undeniable. Yet just as my comprehension of a passing moment seems to peak with over-awareness, the clock’s steady rhythm easily fades, allowing other thoughts and observations to pass through my mind. 

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