Remembering to Keep Our “Personal Clocks” Wound

Dear Reader:

Today we think of Lewis Carroll as the wonderful author of Alice In Wonderland, as well as, a storyteller and artist. One recurring theme in  Alice in  time and how it is best spent…perhaps at a tea party?

As a mathematician and artist Carroll understood the brevity of life and the importance of using time wisely.

In order to teach a lesson on time to others he tells a story about a talented clock maker whose death leaves a town in timeless confusion until they understand the importance of remembering.

In a small village lived an old clock maker and repairer. When anything was wrong with any of the clocks or watches in the village he was able to fix them, to get them running properly again.

When he died, leaving no children or apprentice, there was no one left who could fix clocks. Soon various clocks and watches began to break down. Those which continued to run often lost or gained time, so they were of little use. A clock might strike midnight at three in the afternoon. Many of the villagers abandoned their timepieces. 

One day a renowned clock maker and repairer came through the village, and the people crowded around him and begged him to fix their broken clocks and watches. He spent many hours looking at all the faulty timepieces, and at last announced that he could repair only those whose owners had kept them wound, because they were the only ones which would be able to remember how to keep time. 

Madeleine L’Engle concludes the story lesson by correlating it to our everyday lives.

“So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain. 

We may not always be able to make our own personal “clock” run correctly, but at least we can keep it wound so that we will not forget.”

So until tomorrow….Amen Madeleine!

Walsh has planned a three-generational early family Christmas gift for his dad, brother Tommy, and son Rutledge to attend the Clemson-Carolina game. They have tickets but no parking space. (*Libby has tried so hard to help  but all of her family has decided to attend the game too. Thanks again Libby for all your efforts.)

So here’s a shout-out…if anyone knows of anybody who has an available parking space for the game Walsh and Tommy would love to hear from you and hopefully work something out. It would mean a lot to the family.

Walsh’s email address:

Tommy’s email address:

*Or simply let me know and I can connect you to one of the boys for further communication. Thank you everyone ahead of time…perhaps a little Christmas magic will kick in :)!


I would be amiss as a history teacher if I didn’t remind everyone that 156 years ago today, November 19, 1863…Lincoln taught us a lesson on the importance of time…particularly the importance of brevity and getting to the main point of a commemoration with less rambling….”Fourscore and seven years ago”












About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Remembering to Keep Our “Personal Clocks” Wound

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Loved seeing you yesterday. Hope to do lunch before Christmas which will ge here in the blink.of an eye. All I know about time lately is how fast it goes! Hoping that a parking space will evolve…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thanks for stopping by…my mouth is set for having your soup for lunch today…another good soup day! Speaking of time ….it flies too quickly when we get together…so much to talk about! Fun Fun!


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