Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just a Thought or Two

We rarely drink bottled water. Today, while out doing errands, I bought a bottle of water.

Wow, when did these get so incredibly thin?

I drank my water, then sat in the car as we were driving, studying the bottle.

Side Note: My mind tends to wander. I always mean to write things down to remind me of what I want to post, but rarely do. If I do manage to write it down, by the time I sit in front of the computer to blog, it seems pretty trivial, so I don't post.

But today I will . . .

Do you have touchstone books, movies, plays, TV shows? Ones that keep popping into your head, dealing with themes that keep showing up in your life?

I have several, but this one comes into my mind a lot.

It's an old episode of the Twilight Zone. Titled Execution, it stars Albert Salmi. The time is the late 1800s, in a small Western town. Salmi plays Joe Caswell, a condemned man standing on a scaffold with a rope around his neck. The floor drops, the rope snaps . . .

All of a sudden, he finds himself in the 1960s in New York City.

That's the basic idea, and it made a huge impression on my 12 year old brain. Of course there's more to the story, but the premise is, you take a plain rural man and throw him into the center of a metropolitan city some 100 years in the future.

I think about this all the time. My Grandmother died at 106 when I was ten years old. I remember sitting on her porch and listening to her talking about her Father and the Civil War. As a child, all I could think of was "why does she go on about this all the time?"

Now I recognize what a treasure she was and wish I had been able to appreciate the wisdom she was trying to impart. Looking back now, she was kind of like Joe Caswell, finding herself in a world she could hardly have imagined.

Back to the water bottle.

I look at it and I'm slightly annoyed. I think of all the time it will remain on this earth, the resources that were used to create it just so I could have the convenience of a sip of water when I was too lax to remember to bring my refillable bottle.

Then I stop and really look at it.

Crystal clear, squishy yet firm, it's really a wonder of modern design. Darn near perfect. Form follows function. Yet we take them for granted, tossing them into the trash heap by the thousands, with never a second thought.

But look at it through the eyes of someone from 1912. What would they make of this wonder of modern science? Light as a feather, waterproof, practically indestructible.

100 years ago, wouldn't it be on display as a magical item? Perhaps thought to be something transported to Earth by aliens from another world? Who could guess what this would be conceived as?

The wonders we all take for granted.

And those are the kind of things I think about all the time.


The Good Luck Duck said...

Right! Should be a wonder, but they're really a blight. And, wasn't that show brilliant? Actually, I think about Twilight Zone's Time Enough at Last every time I can't find my reading glasses.

Gaelyn said...

I take water everywhere. Then there's that time when I didn't, bought one of these chintzy thin bottles which basically collapsed in my hand.

Ah, Twilight Zone.

The Odd Essay said...

Right now I'm wearing a pair of socks that were made using recycled bottles and other recycled materials.... So... that think plastic bottle may one day end up on my feet ;-)

Jerry and Suzy said...

Fortunately here at our home park we have a wonderful recycling program. We do all the #1 and #2 plastics, aluminum cans of course, and nearly any kind of paper. The park gets no income from anything but the aluminum, bu wet are saving $2000 per year in garbage pickup charges!

photowannabe said...

Delightful wanderings Kate. I like how your mind works.
I'm grateful for the things that have changed my life and do want to be mindful at the same time of the footprint they leave.

Gypsy Boho said...

I enjoyed reading your post today especially the part about your grandmother. It reminded me of the times my grandfather would ask me the cost of things. He was well into his 80s and had never left his hometown. When I'd go for a visit, if I had a new item he was always curious about it's cost. When I'd tell him, he'd just shake his head in wonder. It must have seemed like he was also in a world he could not imagine.