What is up with grandfather clocks?

Grandfather clocks are enigmatic to me, for several reason.

First is their sheer size.  It’s hard to imagine any urban young adult, living in a squalid 300 square foot condo – making sure to find room for the family grandfather clock.

The second reason is their utility.  Perhaps when they were invented 200 years ago, the grandfather clock represented innovation, accuracy, precision, etc.   Now, that utility can be replaced by an iPhone app that fits in the pocket.

The third is their imposition.  Grandfather clocks turn time into sound and make the passing of hours a conversational interruption.

Who in their right might would buy a grandfather clock?  I can only imagine a few specialized submarkets.  The rest of the market inherits them.

And yet for all their quirks and oddities, grandfather clocks are a stark reminder – that time is valuable, important, and sacred.  That it’s not just something to flick on your wrist or pop in your pocket.  Time exists.  It’s real.  It’s palpable, like the space it takes up, or the sound that it chimes.

We might get caught up in our own little words. Busy with busy-ness.

But people who have a grandfather clock to come home to, have that stark reminder – watching them wisely from the corner of the room – that despite their efforts, time is limited.

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