I know how Poe felt. About bells, that is. I think about his poem several times a day — and for good reason.
You see, we live between two large churches. The Catholic Church of St. Anton shares the block with us — taking up western half of the block, and we can see the side of the church from our kitchen window across the inner courtyard. The other church, a block away to the east, is a Greek Orthodox church. These two churches (and probably others, but I don’t notice them) have bell towers. Around 7:30 or so each morning they start to ring. Not exactly 7:30, mind you…. sometimes as early as 7:00, or as late as 7:50, and as often as not the two churches don’t ring at the same time. It’s almost as if one friar hears the bell from the other church and thinks “Oh crap, I lost track of time!” and runs up to ring his own bell.
Big Ben it ain’t.
The churches only have one bell each, so they don’t play a pleasant melody. But what they lack in variety they make up for in volume… and duration… these bells go on for 2-3 minutes … 2-3 LONG minutes of DONG…D..DONG…DONG……D..DONG……DONG….. well, you get the picture.
The bells ring again around noon, and around 7:30 in the evening. Did I mention this is every day? Oh, except Sunday… more bells on Sunday to call to service.
Kev and I have a theory. When these churches were established people didn’t have clocks of their own to tell time — the church told them when to get up for work, when to stop for lunch, and when to go home for dinner. Now that we have our own digital watches, the churches carry on in this tradition… Waking us up on a Saturday morning, for example.
Although Siggy is as good an alarm clock as the church bells.