Chimes In The Foyer

IMG_0135Today I woke up early, for a Sunday, and went downstairs to make some coffee.  As I padded barefoot across the floor, thinking about how cold it is supposed to get, a familiar sound kept me company.  It was the gentle chimes of the wall clock in our foyer, letting me know that 6:30 had arrived.

We inherited this clock from Kish’s Mom, Faith.  It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and design, inside and out.  I like the Roman numerals on the round clock face, the filigreed hands, and the cap on the top of the clock (called, technically, a bonnet), with the split pediment that looks like a bird’s wings and the round finial at the center.  The clock still functions perfectly and is wound with a key — a job that is reserved exclusively for Kish, who knows how to do it properly, because you don’t want to overwind an old clock.  But when the clock has been wound, and the hands are moving and the pendulum is swinging, you can see why “moving like clockwork” is synonymous with flawless functioning.

But what I like best about the clock is the sounds it makes.  The pendulum moves with a very audible tick-tock, and the chimes that mark the hour and half-hour are gentle and subdued.  Those are soothing sounds in the wee, dark hours of the early morning, as you sip your coffee and read your book and wait for the rest of the family to awaken.

Like Clockwork

IMG_2887I like clockwork.  We have a bunch of old clocks, pocket watches, and wall clocks in our home, and I treasure every one.

I love the intricacy of the clocks.  I love the brass fittings, the old glass, the differently sized gears, and the precisely calibrated, finely polished pieces of machinery that allow you to accurately account for time if you just keep the clock wound properly.  I imagine the clockmaker and watchmaker sitting at a cluttered desk, wearing some kind of magnifying glasses, scrupulously putting the pieces together and carefully tightening the screws.

Whenever I see an old clock, I think of baroque music.  The intricacy and precision of Bach and Boccherini and Albinoni seem well suited to provide the soundtrack for clockwork.