I’m looking at a life-parable in my little world. A parable eloquent by its silence.
I’m talking about my Shaker-style grandfather clock, this woodworker’s pride and joy, built from rough-sawn cherry lumber twenty years ago, as gift to myself commemorating completion of my PhD. My late-mother-in-law gave me money on the occasion of graduation with which I bought a brass-weighted German clock movement and then I built the cherry wood clock case from scratch in my “Wee Woodhole” workshop in the elegant but simple style of 19th century Shaker craftsmen.
I say my ‘parable’ is eloquent by its silence because my Westminster-chiming clock has been silent for two years. It stopped while I was away on Vision Quest in Fiji in 2011. I miss its rhythmic “tick-tock” and its music of the hours. It’s true of life: we discover the not-so-common commonplaces in our lives in their absence.
As a boy in high school I sang 1st Tenor in a Barbershop Quartet. I remember the smiles we always generated singing “My Grandfather’s Clock”– a song about how the clock “stopped short, never to go again, when the old man died.” With syncopated voice-harmonies in the chorus line, we mimicked the clock’s “tick … tock!”
I see a story of Life-Change in my clock. We too live ‘weighted’ lives, powered by priorities and agendas. Our ‘movements’ are driven by ‘weights’ of importance in our lives, but they slow down or stop when our priorities change.
My silent clock speaks to me of the need for balance in life, too, just as the equal rhythm behind the swing of the clock’s pendulum is required for optimum operation. Without equivalent “tock” the “tick” in the life of the weight-driven clock cannot be sustained.
Again, like my Shaker Grandfather clock, my life needs ’servicing’, needs the oil of kindness and renewed passion, needs ‘re-winding’ and careful tuning in order to keep going.
I found a local clock man whose passion is repairing old clocks. He’s coming today to take my clock-movement out of the clock case and back to his workshop to clean and oil its moving parts and give it new life.
I’m doing something similar these days with my own inner movement as I contemplate 2014 as my last year to personally produce Great Scots Magazine. After 18 years of GSM publishing it’s time to carefully rewind the ‘weights’ of my life.
I’m pleased to report I’ve been contacted by prospects in Scottie circles expressing eager interest in acquiring GSM and carrying on it’s publication.
Looks like the Grandfather Clock AND “the Old Man” AND the “tick-tock” of the magazine are lining up for new movement and new life ahead!
Joseph Harvill, publisher Great Scots Magazine