Monday, August 31, 2009

The Soothing Sound Of My Clock...!


Sitting on the mantle in my bedroom/office is a wind up clock with a nice chime.

Well, actually it's not a mantle, but just the top of the hutch part of my desk. It just sounds so much more romantic and classic to say mantle! Don't you think the mental picture you get is more pleasant with a mantle instead of the top of a desk?

Anyway, this old clock is one that I bought wholesale several years ago, when I first got interested in having things that would work without electricity, or in case of an EMP attack. It's not very fancy...in fact, for a wind up, chiming clock it's rather plain. But it does chime, and it does wind up...and it talks to me!

When I say that it talks, what I mean by that is that if you listen hard enough, if the room is quiet, if your mind is clear and open...the ticking of the clock as the pendulum swings back and forth makes the noises of an old friend!

The soft and steady ticking can almost force you to slow down, to calm the rushing of the thoughts in your head, and allows you to bring things into proper focus. It's funny, but when you can slow down your thinking just a bit things can suddenly start to take on a certain clarity.

I've grown accustomed to the slow tick-tock of my clock, and to the muted chiming on the hour and half hour. I rarely hear it any more, but I think that my body is so in tune with that clock that when it stops, I can almost feel it.

That's right, sometimes I forget to wind it up, and first thing I know...it either stops or starts running real slow. Usually it's the chime that's the first to go silent. When those chimes, muted as they are, go silent it doesn't take long until I get the feeling that something is just not right! One of those feelings that you can't really explain or pin down...but it's there just the same! Eventually, though, I notice that I don't hear the friendly reminder of the passing of time. I stand, sheepishly open the glass front, stop the swinging of the pendulum, and with the key I keep inside the clock (so that I don't lose it) I wind it up and, with a gentle push, start the swinging of the pendulum again. Once again, quietly in the background, is the comforting sound of the constant tick-tock of my clock. Once again the muted chime on the hour and half hour nudges me just enough to remind me that time still goes on.

The cats seem to be comforted by the old clock as much as I. Many times, I have looked up to notice Smokey on top of the "mantle", deep into the death like state that only cats can reach while napping, with his head right up against the side of the old clock. I can only imagine that the gentle tick-tock, accompanied from time to time by the chime on the hour and half hour, has rocked him to sleep. Makes a great picture as well!

I think that some day I would like to have a grandfather clock sitting in my cabin. I could sit there in my rocking chair, a fire crackling in the stove in the corner, a good book nestled in my lap and the cats asleep next to the fire...and let myself be quietly comforted by the constant but quiet tick-tock of my grand old clock that chimes on the hour and half hour. That is probably the best definition of inner peace that I will ever have!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit. If you listen real hard, you can hear the old clock on the mantle!

35 comments:

Felinae said...

Good day to you, Uncle Hermit :D

Another wonderful start to my day, one of your well told stories. Thank you for sharing it.

My Grandma, she'll be 98 in September, has a mantle clock that sits in her wet bar. She's had that clock for as long as I can remember, it was my Grandpa's clock. I remember him faithfully winding it whenever my brother and I would spend the night.

I loved the chime of that old clock when I was little. I still do, sometimes when I am talking to her on the phone, I can hear it's bing,bing,bong,bong song then the counting bongs of the hour. in the background.

It is kind of a soothing melodic rythym that never fails to remind of simpler, less stressful times.

Have a great Monday, my friend, thank you again.

Hugs~n~Smiles
~Felinae~

HermitJim said...

Hey Felinae...
Funny how the sound of a clock with a particular sound can trigger so many memories, isn't it? I really like the sound, both of the ticking and the song they sing when chiming!

Thank you so much for dropping by, my feline friend!

Trailshome said...

Love those old clock sounds too. My grandmother had one of those old ratchety keywind alarm clocks. She was poor, so I'm sure it was a cheap clock, but it had those brass bells mounted on the top with a little hammer that rattled back and forth between them. When we visited, I was tiny and slept in the living room on two dining room chairs pushed together with a blanket tossed over the top so that the arms formed almost a crib around me. I remember laying awake in that odd kind of almost-bed in the strangeness of a house whose noises I wasn't used to, and being lulled to sleep by that old scratetchy, tickety clock. Now that I'm old, I don't sleep well these days, and I'm thinking that I'd love to find one of those old clocks to lull me to sleep. But all I can find are the digitals. They just don't make the same kind of good sounds at all.

TEAM HALL said...

Morning Jim! My grandma had one of those clocks in her living room and I remember every time I was near it, I just wanted to be quiet...to hear it..or almost feel it moving.
I have a school-type clock in the playroom for the littles and it's really noisy ticking off each second...or so my mother says. We don't hear it anymore either. Funny how some people can't get into the rhythym of it...almost drives them insane to hear the NOISE! lol
Have a fabulous Monday, Jim!!

Anonymous said...

Our cats too seem soothed by a steady rhythm of our clock. It isn't a windup, but a cheap battery electric that sort of has a 'hum' that when house is silent (including A/C), has a white noise. The cats like it too.

For me, the soothing sound is a ceiling fan in the living room, that old Hunter keeps our thermostat set at 80 year round, its our common sound around the house.

HermitJim said...

Hey Trailshome...
Funny how the good things are so hard to find anymore...

You might try looking in the Lehman's catalog!

Thanks for the visit today...


Hey Cath...
I can't imagine anyone complaining about the sound of a clock! I'll bet that if they would only listen for a while, they could fall into that rhythm...

Hey, thanks for the visit, Cath!


Hey Anon 7:21...
Sometimes I think that cats are smarter than a lot of people that I know! Dogs also...

Certain noises, like your fan, can really help to aid in the calming effect, I think! And we can all use a little help from time to time!

I sure do appreciate you dropping by today!

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -
I have Grandma V's old schoolhouse key-wind clock, an enamel brass weighted German pendulum clock, an anniversary clock, a large round-faced schoolhouse clock, and another chimer that are all located within hearing distance of my living room, as well as a few that don't make any noise. When Mom was over on Saturday, she commented on how much noise they make, all set a minute or so apart, but I don't even hear them. Like you say, just when one is silent, I know it. Or wake up in the night and wait for something to bong to let me know all is well. Worst thing about my divorce was letting him have our grandfather clock, but the little cottage just did not have enough room - should have just made room somewhere!

HermitJim said...

Hey Sis...
Sometimes giving up something like the clock is almost akin to giving up a friend! Would have been nice if you could have found room...but maybe you and the DH can get one together!

I sure do thank you for stopping by today!

Kyddryn said...

Good morning, Mister Hermit, sir.

I have an old Seth Thomas clock, very simple, winds up, ticks,tocks, chimes the hours. I love it. It's a sound from my childhood.

When I hear the ratcheting of the winding mechanism, I remember my grandfather winding the clocks on Sunday mornings...the old ship's clocks, the Seth, and the Rococo horror that was my grandmother's mantel clock.

I like the friendly ticking, like a metronome for my hours...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

HermitJim said...

Hey Kyddryn...
From time to time I believe that some clocks sort of reflect the soul of the household. I think back on the different clocks some of my relatives had, and I can almost see their personalities reflected there!

Once again, the sounds of a clock can trigger good memories from long ago...which is mostly a good thing!

I am very fond of the ticking of my clock as well...sort of telling me all is right in my world!

Thanks for coming by today, K!

JoJo said...

Good morning my Special One, I know I was so happy when I figured out how to make the clock from my
Dad's house work. I wasn't going to quit until I figured it out, the chime hasn't worked in years but at least the pendalum still works and it makes the tick tock sound I love so much. I did remember to take off the weights before I left.
I am ready for a refill how about you?

vlad said...

I like windup clocks. My father was RR Engineer retired 1971. I have his Elgin pocket watch and have it serviced. Also have large windup clock and travel clock.
tik tok is a good sound. It's like going to grandma's house.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
My special friend! I'm glad you got your father's old clock working! You could have the chimes checked at a clock repair shop, but it isn't cheap! Probably just the wind up spring...

Glad that you remembered to take of the weights before you moved it...you did good! See how smart you are?

Refills are coming up, my girl!

HermitJim said...

Hey Vlad...
We come from an era where a lot of men carried a pocket watch, but they are getting to be a hard item to find anymore! At least, the wind up ones...

The ticking of the clocks does indeed remind us of a simpler time, of grandma's house, and of life itself...!

Thanks for coming by, my friend!

Off Grid Terlingua said...

My grandparrents always had the wind up chime clocks on the mantle. I never got one when they passed. I never will forget the feeling it gave me when I came to visit.

I used all non electric appliances when I lived in alaska including a modern windup clock. It just becomes a part of your rutine.

HermitJim said...

Hey Off Grid...
Isn't it amazing how we can get used to so many things we thought were difficult to use? Wind up cloocks, alternate electricity, collected rain water, home made bread and soap and cleaning supplies...the list goes on and on!

I wouldn't trage my wind up clock for anything! Been a fixture in my daily life for way too long...

I sure am glad you came by today, my friend!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I would like to have a clock like that! I remember my grandfather having one. It was quite ugly to be honest, but the sound was wonderful! He did wind it up on the exact time every third day, never missed it until he got to forgetful and then the clock got silent. I wonder where it went later on?

I had forgotten about that clock and now I feel I have to find one for my self :-)
Have a great day now!
Christer.

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Sometimes it seems as though the winding down of the clock, reflects the winding down of our lives!

My guess is that when your grandfather got to the point of not being able to attend to his clock, the clock stopped talking to him, and passed on in it's own particular way!

I think you should find a clock like his and make it your own!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit today!

Rae said...

You paint a lovely picture with the rocking chair, grandfather clock and crackling fire. I hope you get to enjoy it someday.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rae...
I'm sure that I will be in that picture someday! I,m glad you enjoyed the post...and I'm glad you could drop in today.

Thank you...!

Diane said...

Certain sounds can bring a peace that passes all understanding to a person.
Your clock is one as I listen to the ocean waves on a CD at night is mine.
When we can turn off technology and surround ourselves with the freedom of natural sounds...ahhh those sweet sounds it soothes the beast in us all!
Groovy eh?

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane...
Nature does seem to have a way of putting her arms around us and lulling us to a place of rest, if we only let her!

The ticking of an old clock, the sound of a gently running brook, the lapping of the waves...all can be a doorway to peace and inner calm!

I'd say "groovy!" is a good way to describe it!

Thanks for the visit today!

Diane said...

Hey an off the wall question. How did you add that Blackbird song to your post? I wanna do that too...*pouting*!!! Can ya help me?
Email me?
DOMO ARIGATO!

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane...
Email is on the way...

Marie said...

Enjoyed your post--reminded me of a little travel alarm clock I used to have, and although I think it was powered by batteries, if I could find it again, it would bring back a lot of memories. Hey, just thinking about it brings back a lot of memories... :) Thanks!

HermitJim said...

Hey Marie...
Always glad to hear that you enjoyed the post! I have a small battery powered alarm clock as well, but it doesn't make any noise...and I never use the alarm since I'm retired!

Come to think of it, I don't know why I even keep that clock around anymore! Just hate to get rid of stuff, ya know?

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Sarah said...

Hi Mr. Hermit!

It was enjoyable to read your post and everyone's comments. My grandparents had a cuckoo grandfather clock that I used to sit in front of when I was little and cuckoo with the bird when it came out on cue with the beautiful, but LOUD chimes!

HermitJim said...

Hey Sarah...
Brings back some memories, doesn't it? Children are always fascinated with clocks! At least, I was when I was a youngster...

I am really glad you could drop in today!

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