Marking Time

古時計Marking Time

There is one clock left that I wind every day.

Its bushings are worn; its face is cracked. Its gears jam and its chimes no longer mark the hours.

But each hard-won tick is a celebration of the life it has clocked.


This is my submission for this week’s gargleblaster challenge over at yeah write. The challenge poses a question and we have to answer it in exactly 42 words. Answers can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

This week’s question is: Have all your clocks stopped?


 Image credit: Paylessimages @


29 thoughts on “Marking Time

  1. “One clock that I wind every day.”
    I actually love what that line implies, that even worn and cracked there is life there still, there is the hum of life.

    I liked this very much.

  2. Here, try some butter on it.
    It is the very best butter.

    When I read your last line: “But each hard-won tick is a celebration of the life it has clocked.” I immediately thought of “over-clocking”, a process that speeds a computer up beyond the “clock frequency specified by the manufacturer..” (wikipedia). It has to be done with care to avoid causing excess damage to the computer–because no matter how careful you are there WILL be damage..

    We spend our whole lives ruled by the clock. Is our sped up version of life better than the one we might live if we learned to ignore that clock every now and again? Or should we keep pushing, long past the time when all we have left to give are a few “hard won tick(s)”? Inevitably, all clocks must stop.

    1. I think a lot of people overclock themselves, often without care. 😉 Clocks fascinate me, because they track something we can’t see, although we can see its effects. I guess that’s why they make a good metaphor for life and living.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful and educational comment! 🙂

  3. I love this post. It makes me think of my grandmother, who had a clock like the one in your picture. That clock will forever be tied to my memories of her and her life.

    1. I’m so glad you liked my post – and thank you for sharing your memory of your grandmother. In my family, my father is the one with all the clocks. 🙂

  4. Beautiful! I love the opening line, and the whole piece just wound tighter and tighter. I love the entire metaphor. Love it. Thanks for gargleblasting, Suzanne! Myself, I’m hoping to swing over to the speakeasy this week. 🙂

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