Tags: Clock Time
Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World, a Large Place
I saw the world's largest cuckoo clock today; it was big but otherwise unremarkable. It's situated right off B33 in the Black Forest of Germany; the clock is right next to the highway, meaning you hardly hear anything but the screeching engines of the passing trucks and cars when the cuckoo does its little dance.
But there's a smaller, more charming cuckoo clock on the other side of the world's largest which I found far more pleasant, both because it's farther from the main highway and because there are little figures in the clock who spin and dance around when the time's right. Because I believed it would ring on the half-hour and I arrived a little past 1PM I killed time in the little shop there, buying a few trinkets for friends back home and checking the (countless) clocks in the store to see if it was yet time to remove myself from the store.
On my exeunt I waited by the smaller clock. But alas the time rolled by and nothing happened; it was now 1:35PM and no cuckoo was heard. Some people had gathered next to me and were now smoking at an alarming pace, stopping to take a drag when either of the other two exhaled their puff. One of them, an older gentleman, walks a little closer to the clock and digs in his pocket, extricates his wallet from his motorcycle leathers and procures a single euro coin. He then pitches this coin lazily into what appears to a funnel in front of the clock and steps back swiftly, cigarette still hanging from his lips.
After 10 seconds or so the gears in the clock suddenly begin to turn and a small, wooden bird flaps its wings mechanically, charmingly cuckooing three times before disappearing back into the clock, flanked by the wooden doors which hid it before.
Then the sunniest, saddest song starts to play on the mechanical bells within the clock.
I'm sitting on a small rock resting firmly in the space in front of the lot; the audience consists still only of me and the smoking group, so nobody sees my tears. The song reminds me how far removed in space and in time you can be from the things you love; it's a feeling which has compounded in myself over the last week, one that's reminded me how many things have passed that I can never get back. The cuckoo's song reminds me that time flows on, the gentle antagonizer against whom fighting is hopeless and fruitless and pointless; time connects us and that same time destroys us. I started crying and I couldn't stop.
The clock stopped its cuckoo; the smoking people took another drag; it was over and yet it'd continue forever.