The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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When I was a child I visited Russia with my parents, and many years later I got to return for a study abroad program, and I got to revisit some of my favorite places, including the hermitage and its enchanting peacock clock, a piece of art that has captivated my imagination since I first saw it.

I was eight years old when I first laid eyes on that glass
box that held golden peacock, resting atop a golden tree; a golden, caged owl
sits to his right, a golden rooster to his left, and underneath him, and an elusive
red mushroom that acted as the face of the clock. Ever since that moment, I
dreamt of seeing that clock work. Eleven years later, I finally did. I went to
study abroad in St. Petersburg and as expected, one of our first tours was the
Hermitage. The tour was short and we only had time to see the main rooms, the
Da Vinci paintings, and of course, the room with the peacock clock. However,
when the tour came to an end the guide said, in her thick Russian accent,
"Dear friends, for those of you who are interested, they are turning on
the peacock clock today at seven" Faster than an arrow, I purchased
another ticket and headed towards the room, I had about two hours but it was
very easy to get lost in the vastness of the Hermitage and I wanted to make
sure I didn't miss anything. After a lot of questions and walking, I found my
way back to the clock room, thirty minutes before seven. As every minute
passed, the anticipation built and I began checking my watch more and more.
Then, finally a man opened the glass box and began to wind the clock. The owl
began to turn his head and the rooster began to caw. A few secons later, the peacock moved.
Slowly, it opened its tail to reveal the intricate pasterns carved into the
gold and then turned revealing those same, magnificent patterns carved in
silver on the back of his tail. Then the peacock turned back around, closed his tail and returned to his
usual position and the man turned off the clock while saying "That's
all."  

 

The Peacock Clock

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