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"Power lines, my travlin' partner on this ride. Dripping, pulling - up and down, in this sing song, their lullaby blends with the swaying train. I curl myself into this journey; folding myself up into this pocket of time. Old familiars greet me - that swing set in the back yard, the ruins of an old church covered in new birth and old - mixed with unremembered newness." Journal Entry, October 13, 2005~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~All words are copyrighted by GoGo on a Page/gogoroku.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Broken Clocks

Written around midnight:

I love broken clocks. They follow me through life like a puppy needing love. I was thinking about broken clocks this evening, while watching the Six Feet Under (5th Season) prostrate in my bed. My long day was mixed with minimal activity and sleeplessness. I went to see a play with three women I have learned to appreciate in my life. We all sat watching kids run around the stage performing “Just So Stories” having no clue what they were saying. It was the one task I had left in my calendar today; opening the door for a long day of sleep, yet sleep escaped me. There is no reason for it. Perhaps my mind has not caught on that the 5 months of running with tasks filling my days to the organized brim has come to an end. That and I have a big interview tomorrow – today.

As my mind wandered through periodic episodes of Six Feet, my eyes latched on to this red travel clock sitting lifeless on the top shelf of my bookcase. It’s red plastic snake skin with gold hinges and a big white face. The big white face is the piece of the clock, when opened, forms the clock into a pyramid with an empty center. My red travel clock sits above the shelf that carries my complete works of Plato and Wemoon calendars I’ve collected since the first year I went to festival which sits above two more shelves holding years of journals lying haphazard upon them. I watched how the light from the living room flooded over the bookshelf as if catching the clock in the act of not working. How beautiful my red travel clocked looked between the light and shadow that veiled me in my bed.

This clock could work I suppose with a little tinker and love, but I have come to understand that clocks eventually break in my world. Even wrist watches stop after a few months use. My Grandpa Ray told me when I was a kid that my clocks stop because I am one of “those people” who mess up internal mechanism with my own energy. Perhaps blarney from the lips, but I’ve held true to his words.

I got this clock at the antique store that KL was working at when we lived in a crowded home. I was looking for a travel clock to take with me to festival, having long since given up ownership to more traditional clocks on the arm. I still remember the day clearly – walking into the overcrowded antique store that is now a Teahouse; walking through a labyrinth of shaded colors of old, past the bird in its cage, following KL to where my clock sat perched on another’s shelf. I can remember falling in love with its mechanical existence as I opened it for the first time. My red travel clock opens like a ring box and greets you with its big white face with no pomp and circumstance.

It worked for two years then began to wind down into arrhythmic periods of unpredictability. Then one day, I stopped playing with the heart of its gears and retired it to my bed room. Seemed the best place for my red travel clock to live.

Now, I said I love broken clocks not just one. The other of my favorites sits motionless on the bookshelf in my living room. This time the clock – the sunflower clock – is the pointed center of a pyramid bookshelf. The sunflower clock’s arms are bent crooked like an unkempt mustache on a face of a sunflower painted below. A bee greets the sunflower and me whenever I look at it. I got this one from KN during my trip to her Aunt & Uncle’s house one winter break.


I went to see Bob Dylan and Patty Smith perform at the Electric Factory in Philie and came back with an already dieing love. I remember she pushed the clock into my hands while we were packing my things in a mad dash. There was a snow storm coming. Her aunt and uncle decided, against my opinion, that I would be safer leaving a day early then spend one more day there. KL and I packed my things that had exploded into her world as quick as we could, trying to meet the midnight bus. I came the last day before winter break, so I was carrying everything I would need for the trip and a month at home with my parents.

I remember as she blushed telling me all she had to give was this clock, “which kinda worked”. I remember not carrying because it had another purpose for me. I remember my sunflower clock sat naked on my window ledge trying to beat to a rhythm the first few months, and then just sat on the ledge caught between the role of a memory and a knickknack. My sunflower clock sits above more books and unused journals waiting for their day.

I love broken clocks. This is what I thought as I lay in my bed feeling more for these clocks then I had in some time while sleeplessly watching Six Feet Under.


Journal Entry May 7, 2006: First words in a new book.

2 Comments:

Blogger Wenda said...

Timeless pieces. I have a couple of broken clocks, myself, though I think they just need new batteries. You've reminded me to put them out where I can see and appreciate how they hold the moment still and me in it.

2:58 AM, May 10, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I love that you have a collection of broken clocks! In my own life, I've found that clocks stopped or broke at key moments in my life - like time standing still (although this wasn't always a good thing). Great post!

4:30 PM, May 10, 2006  

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