In appreciation of the ticking of the clock

Written by: Daan Uijterwaal for more stories like these

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Do you remember does big old wooden clocks in the living rooms of your grandparents? With a pendulum swinging from one side to the other. Ticking away. Every hour scaring your to death making a loud noise and rewinding itself. Oh man, there is so much memory connected to a clock.

I remember my grandma having one. We would visit her quite often. Especially when we where kids. We, me and my sister, would go to her little apartment not that far from our own home. The walls had this off white color, but not because we painted them this way. No, not at all. If you moved a painting or a photo on the wall you would see its true color. Clear white. My grandma would smoke, a lot. She did it inside for years, so every now and then we would repaint the walls to make them look white again.

When we visited our grandma, she would get us something to drink and put this pot filled with chocolates in the middle of the table. She took off the lid and point to it with the lid still in her hand, softly saying “Take one they are delicious”Of course my sister and I didn’t hesitate a minute. Both of us grabbing one or two of the chocolates. My grandma would sit down in her big green chair and asking us how we were doing in school. This wasn’t the fun part. The fun part was playing Rummikub with the three of us.

All three of us would sit down at the small table and grab the stones from the bag, and start playing. As we were playing the clock that hung in the living room always grabbed my attention. It was one of those wooden clockworks. I found it fascinating how the pendulum moved and the time went on. With every click, there happened something new. Something that wasn’t there before. Stones being Laid down, new opportunities arose and the game continued. For hours on end. Or at least it felt like hours, hearing the clock ticking and us playing made it feel like hours.

Each tick is yet another moment

The bell rang and it was time to go home. I don’t know how long we played the game. I don’t know what time it was. All I knew is that time had passed and that it was well spend. I didn’t worry about having to little time. I just played the game. So did my sister and my grandma. We just played. Not worrying about doing something else. The ticking of the clock reminds me of that. The everlasting cycle of time. Always ticking, even in your sleep. Yet we feel like not having enough of it.

Hearing the clock tick in my room is yet another reminder for myself to appreciate this moment. To live in the here and now. Because time will go on. Even when I am physically gone. It’s something I can hold. That can not be wound back. The only thing that can be wound back is the hands on the clock. Not changing anything. The clock still ticks, you only now believe that you have more time to spend. But that is the biggest illusion of it all. There is nothing to spend. We do not own time. We can not hold it nor sell it. We can only live it.

That is why I appreciate the ticking of the clock. A subtle reminder to live. To not care so much about the way I spend it. All that matters is, that I live. Live in it, with it, around it. Letting it in. Fully filling me up with life energy. Making me appreciate every moment.

Today I Lived



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