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My parents gave me my dad's old clock that used to hang in our living room. It's about 40 years old, hand-crafted, wind-up analogue clock--pendulum, chimes, and all. Mom and dad stopped using it because, with their arthritis, they couldn't do the whole winding thing every 31 days--like clockwork.

Funny little simile, isn't it? what does it mean, really? Well, it's a reference to the numerous gears and cogs used in analogue clocks, of course, whether they be spring-wound or battery operated. For a lot of people, clocks aren't really that big of a deal. They exist, they tell time. They let you know when you're about to get out of class, they wake you up in the morning, and, if you happen to look at them at any other point in the day, they'll still be there, ticking away, however softly or mightily they may be, from a simple wall clock to the clock that houses London's Big Ben (mind, that's the bell, not the clock).

The thing is, though, that for me, clocks represent far more than simply a time-teller which sits on a wall or is strapped to a wrist. It serves as a symbol of something nigh as old as time, itself--human ingenuity. The power of humanity, the wondrous abilities and capacities of the mind. Every cog is another kink that had to be worked out for years, centuries, millenia, back to the clockwork theatres in ancient greece, all the way to my fancy little binary LED watch. Handmade clocks are a dying, if not dead ARTFORM; one that is, sadly, taken for granted, like so many other things, turned aside in the path of 'progress,' of convenience. Not only does the mass production of factory-designed clocks destroy the artisanal heritage of the world, it represents the downfall of art--beauty and craft, not only for their own sakes, but for the benefit of society. Art is something for which I proudly live, be it in the form of music, painting, writing, handcrafting, sculpting...the list goes on, ad infinitum.

When I hear my clock tick, I think of all the hours that were put into its creation--the flaws that represent, to me, my own humanity, the amazing physical properties of every piece within the clock. Often, the actual physics of why it works--springs storing energy, the resonant property of the chime, the momentum of the pendulum--lie unknown by the crafter, but they still become nigh perfection. A clock may be seen by many as yet another piece of cold, hard machinery, incapable of feeling, but for me, when I hear it chime every half hour, I feel at peace, I feel warm--knowing that I am much like a clock of God's own creation--so many small parts working together for a great whole, each slightly different from the next, meticulously hand-crafted by the Creator. Every tick and tock, reminding how much I, His creation, had as much love poured into me as the clocksmith poured into this clock, its hearbeat ticking away the precious moments of life.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Bliss.

I love clocks.

-William A. Corder

------
'He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.'
-Lao Tzu

'Tomorrow will take us away,
Far from home--
No one will ever know our names,
But the bards' songs will remain.
Tomorrow, all will be known,
And You're not alone,
So don't be afraid
In the dark and cold
'Cause the bards' songs will remain.
They all will remain
In my thoughts and in my dreams
They're always in my mind....
Come close Your eyes;
You can see them, too.'
Blind Guardian,
The Bard's Song: Into the Forest


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