March 1st, 2012
I don’t remember life without you.
Tall, elegant and simple, you have towered over every room you inhabited.
From the time I can remember, my dad would wind you late each Sunday afternoon. He never missed a week. It was a very reassuring ritual: he opened your door, inserted the magic key inside of your belly and wound it. I would watch as the heavy weight would travel up to the top of your belly, all the way to your neck. My dad would carefully remove the key and gently tap your pendulum until you began to tick again. He would shut the door, and I would watch you go left, right, left, right as I heard your heart beat tick, tock, tick, tock. Life was as it should be.
And you kept marking time, one second at a time, until one day, my dad was no longer there to wind you up on Sundays afternoon. You became a silent beauty. You were still tall, elegant and simple, towering over the room, but your heart stopped beating.
I missed you.
You no longer marked time, and I moved across the ocean. I set out to find your twin, but they don’t have clocks like you over here. Too fat, too dark, too loud, too shiny… I gave up. I raised children, worked, lived, but every so often on a Sunday afternoon, my heart would take me back to my dad’s ritual winding of you, and I would miss you both terribly.
Years went by and I went home to visit. I found you tucked in a corner of the garage, all three pieces of you on the floor, covered by a dusty cloth. You were no longer tall, elegant and simple. All life had been stripped from you. And I cried for all that you had been.
Months later three large boxes were delivered to my home across the ocean. With trepidation, I opened the first one and found the first part of you. I quickly unpacked the others–there you were, in my home across the ocean, in three pieces, ready to be made alive again. We loved you back to life and polished you. You had forgotten how to tick, and you had lost your chime. We took our time and reminded you.
You stand tall, elegant and simple, towering over my living room. Every Sunday afternoon, my husband winds you up: he opens your door, inserts the magic key inside of your belly and winds it. I watch as the heavy weight travels up to the top of your belly, all the way to your neck. He carefully removes the key and gently taps your pendulum until you begin to tick again. He shuts the door, and I watch you go left, right, left, right as I hear your heart beat tick, tock, tick, tock.
Life is as it should be.
Thank you for all that you mean to me,