Monday, October 31, 2011

from Everyday Processes of Manufacturing and Civilization

The high point of ending a trip by plane is the ritual of the baggage claim. Like a litter of monstrous kittens suitcases emerge from the airport’s underground bowels. The conveyer belt puts them on parade. Hands pluck at the luggage, expressive faces ask is this one mine, is this yours. Gradually the travelers scatter, bearing bag by bag home and away.
Among the processes I most like to observe is toast browning in the toaster oven. After a slow start, color rolls across the bread like wind, like a brushfire, or a swarm of locusts darkening the plain. I am loath to abandon the lookout; I don’t want to let the dark go too far.
I’ve never minded washing windows or mowing the lawn. I’m not a big believer in progress, I am not a believer at all, but I like the advancement towards an end – I like to watch, if not take part. I could spend hours by the fireplace poking the fire.
In our world of myriad invention, all processes must bow to the Polaroid photo. As the images take shape, who could fail to be enthralled? Who hasn’t seen the Polaroid as a backward-looking crystal ball? It goes from murk to uncertain to your dad in his swimsuit. Within a minute it rewards its observers, traveling from frothy surf to welcoming shore.


Kathleen said...

Yes. To watching things like toast and fire.

Ah, my verification word is "crone" which I'll interpret to mean I am one.

SarahJane said...

On Halloween, you are welcome to cronedom.

bags merchant said...

The last time i went out of the country really made me sad. I bought a travel bag from one of bags merchant located in the nearest mall in my area. I bought it because i wanted to have a new travel bag but someone stuck a gum on my new bag... tsk tsk...

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