River Rock

I plucked it from among its friends 
pushed my fingers into the frigid stream 
felt among the hard, rounded forms blanketing the bottom 
and wrapped my hand around one that 
just felt right 
 
baking in the summer sun 
toes dangling 
tingling in icy water 
my mind studied the stone taken 
from its ancient home 
 
how many years 
how many millennia had passed 
to wear away its imperfections 
grind down its edges 
how much time tossed against other stones 
before all were worn 
 
into oneness 
 
how long will it take 
to wear away my ego 
how much time 
grinding against life 
to smooth out arrogant delusions 
 
until I 
am humbled  
 
into oneness 
 
smiling 
I toss the time traveler 
home 
 
splash! 
 
 
tio stib 
 
 

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My Dementia Diary 12 – My Grandfather’s Clock

There is a clock sitting on the shelf near our bed. It belonged to my mom’s dad and was passed on to me, making it my grandfather’s clock. Over a hundred years old, this timepiece is relatively small, meant to be set on a fireplace mantle, but it has a surprisingly vibrant chime. There are no batteries within, its mechanism driven by a coiled brass spring, which I wind weekly with a dozen turns of a key. For this effort, I am rewarded with a melodious chime counting out each and every hour.

I take comfort from these chimes, from the tick-tock of the ever swinging pendulum, an aroused awareness that time is now. I wonder if my grandfather, my mother, other family members, felt a similar connection.

I’ve lived more than 600,000 hours so far, a surprising number when I attempt to remember the breadth of my life experience. what happened to all those hours? The more important question, what will I do with the hours I have left?

Each tick of that clock is a moment I will never have again.

How many more chimes are left in my life?

How blessed I am to have had so many hours of being.

As my wife sleeps peacefully beside me, I again find comfort in the tick-tock of time, past, present, and future, and I drift away in hopes of hearing the morning chimes once more.

There’s an old folk song that beautifully expresses my sentiments, perfectly named, “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Here’s a link to a Johnny cash rendition

tio stib

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