As long as I remember this cuckoo clock was in the house where my Grandmother was born. This house is no longer habited and I saw it empty, its habitants having moved to a larger and more comfortable house. I am glad that they have moved and have a better life. It overshadows the nostalgia over the empty rooms. It was sweet to look at the clock once again and remember its ticking sound at meals at my Grandmother's sister house.
Family visits indeed have a bitter-sweet taste or shall I say sweetly- bitter.
They remind me of who I am and where I come from. I feel my own distinctiveness and how our family has moved on from the days when my Grandmother grew up in that village in the mountains, but it is all about understanding this path and feeling we breathe the same air. To laugh at the same jokes, and remember the taste of the same recipes. There is also an immense sweetness in discovering that with so many of your relatives it's not just the blood kin that bonds you, but also a sense of friendship and camaraderie.
And then there is the bitterness of not being able to talk about the most important things, because they have been pronounced taboos. It creates clods in the flow of communication and damps the joy of being together. There is also a bitter taste in the way it is easy to tell your family what is best for them because you think that coming from outside you know better. Finally, it feels so rushed because you want to see and satisfy everyone, but there just isn't enough time.
All the same the bitterness is worth the sweetness.