Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Have This Clock, See

It was part of my Christmas loot. It's nothing fancy. It requires manual winding every couple days. Its tick tock is incredibly loud; the hollow sound echoes through the air between my desk and the rest of the house.

Still, I've decided there's something I really like about this clock. I could explain it in some profound way, like that it's a reminder that my time is what I make it. Or that time stands still for no one.

I think it's something simpler.

The clock makes me think of my maternal grandpa. He was a man I hardly knew; an alcoholic with whom I shared no bond. My most prominent memory is of trying to sit on his knee and, because he was snockered, wobbling to the hard concrete floor of his garage.

But when I hear the ticking of my clock, a vision of his bedroom, blanketed in beige and warm with sunlight, comes to mind. And I hear his clock, there on the headboard. It's a clock just like mine.

And I feel an ever-so-slight connection. It's not overwhelming, it's not tangible. But it's there.

I think it's why I like my clock so much.

27 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I think this post is one of your best! I love the descriptions and how you took me back. I have one of those clocks and I don't use it cause it ticks so loudly!
AND I like the header of your blog--did you change in recently and I didn't notice? Love it!

WendyCinNYC said...

That was a nice image. Thanks.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Very nice. (GREAT stuff to craft a short story with, or to add into WIP.)

Ang said...

I really enjoyed this post Janna. I can hear the clock actually ticking here where I sit at my desk. We always had a clock like that in our home. I loved the sound it made. I completely understand why you feel a connection to this clock. Very well said.

Melanie Avila said...

You brought me back to my grandparents' house. They had a large grandfather clock tucked in a corner and I never thought about it until now, but that's definitely a sound from my childhood. My gramma still has it in her small apartment and it always reminds me of my grampa.

Melissa Marsh said...

What a good post, Janna, full of great imagery and emotion. I had to laugh, though, at the image of you falling off your Grandpa's knee because he was snockered! (Hope you didn't get hurt!)

Janna Qualman said...

Terri - Well, thank you very much!

Wendy - Er, your welcome? ;)

Angie - Huzzah!

Ang - Thanks so much. I really do think the sound is a special one.

Melanie - Awesome! How cool that mere words can do that?

Melissa - LOL! No worries. I don't think anything permanent happened... other than that I started to piece together in my mind what my grandpa's existence was like.

Jen said...

Wonderful post, Janna. Very well done!

thedomesticfringe said...

It's funny what a sound or smell can do to trigger our memory.

Great Post!
-FringeGirl

Turkey Lurkey said...

Nice post. It is always nice to have those little connections with those who are now gone. Thanks for sharing.

colbymarshall said...

visual image of Captain Hook smashing clock jumps into my head, lol.

Janet said...

How very interesting. It's amazing how simple things can become laden with personal meaning.

Marsanne Petty said...

My husband had one of those wind up clocks when we got married. I hated it - the sound didn't bother me, but I would never remember to wind it up and I would end up being late to some meeting or class. Not good :) After a while, we let the wind up clock go and got a digital one....

Robin said...

Janna, I can't believe I'm visiting for the first time. That was so lovely. The imagery of your grandfather's room really made me feel like I was there.

My alarm clock next to my bed is pink, has a pig on it, and makes a loud and horrible oinking sound to wake me up. I hope my kids don't blog about it one day. Yeesh.

Janna Qualman said...

Jen - a'thank you, a'thank you!

FringeGirl - Indeed! :)

Turkey - How right you are.

Colby - ROFL!

Janet - I think it's pretty cool, too.

Marsanne - Thank you so much for visiting! I can appreciate your story. :) A clock like this would never work in my bedroom; I'd wind up late, too.

Hi, Robin! I think I've seen you around before, and I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for the great compliment! And come back soon. :)

Leon Basin said...

You have a great blog! Thank you for sharing. How are you doing, by the way?

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing fellow writer?

Josh said...

wind up clocks are the best! they let you think of a simplier time.

Great image btw.

Janna Qualman said...

Leon (x2) - Thank you. And, erm, I'm just fine.

Josh - Thanks!

Jessica said...

Lovely post, Janna. It's amazing how little things like that can make such an impact on us.

Kathryn Magendie said...

My Maw Maw had a ticking clock in the room where I stayed - I always think of her when I hear a clock ticking -which I do right now - there's a retro clock in this room, but battery operated - I love the old wind ups, but I can't sleep to them - the ticking distracts me too much.

We have some similar background thingees in our childhood-other than the clock.

Pink Ink said...

How cool that this clock brings back such a tender memory. Beautiful post, Janna.

I am not good with wind-up clocks, however. They're like plants in my house. I forget about them and then they die :-)

Pink Ink said...

PS Well, tender memory tempered by the interesting reality :-).

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica - Thank you!

Kat - I'd love to hear about some of those other things! It's interesting how those smallest of things can shape who we are.

Jewel - Regarding your PS.: very well said. :) And oh! I'm THE worst with house plants. And the harder I try, the worse off they are.

Josh said...

hahaha, yes, i loved it!

kimmirich said...

Janna, this is your voice. Janna's voice. It's lovely and it comes through so strong.

Janna Qualman said...

Josh - Well, thanks!

Kimmi - That's the best thing anyone could have said to me. Thank you so much!