Popcorn Medievalist

. . . for i had perceived that reality is a frightening place, and i did not wish to live there . . .

Location: Canada

Monday, September 29, 2003

Hey bloggers!

I just learned about you guys today, much thanks to Rob J.

As this is my first experience in Blogging[TM], expectations should not be particularly harsh.

I designate this composition, "Contemplations on a Common Dorm Chair."

So, here we go.


Contemplations on a Common Dorm Chair

This is a story about a chair. The story of this chair has never really been told before, which is in my estimation a reflection on the narrowness and inadequacy of our modern historical documentation. This chair is of a truly international character, having been constructed from materials originating in several countries on different continents. There is the steel--produced in Japan from Chinese iron ore. The polyesther fabric is clearly of Middle Eastern origin. The rubber stoppers on the legs come from the rain forests of Brazil. All of these parts were crafted together by factory workers in Taiwan; I myself have not been to any of these countries and therefore must recognize that this chair has considerably more international experience than I. The chair which presently sits in my livingroom shows clear signs of many years of use; this led me to contemplate the sheer number of people who had made use of this chair. What sort of experiences did they have while sitting there? Were lives changed by these experiences? What joys and heartbreaks has this chair seen? Each person who used this chair left something there, which is obvious in the general wear that the chair has clearly undergone. Do not all the users of this chair share a common experience? They may have nothing else in common, but all have experienced this chair. And what of the hundreds of people responsible for the manufacturing of the chair? I'm sure that these workers didn't think about how this chair was going to be used and enjoyed. Maybe they thought that their work didn't have any meaning or purpose. I can't tell them, but right now I am enjoying the product of their work. I share in their lives in such a small way. We are all bound together. And if one simple old chair could bind me to thousands of people, then what of the endless number of other objects, conventions, and thoughts---none of which I can entirely claim as my own. My shirt was made in Thailand. What about this alphabet that I'm typing in? I received it from others, just like everything else. I am bound to all people of all times throughout the earth. I share in their lives and they share in mine in countless ways that we will never know. My chest is swelling now as I look at the mudane objects around me. And then I see a human being---so much more wonderful yet! The image of God---and the product of the work of a billion people who didn't even understand what they were doing. This is genuine providence at work.

So, the chair really does have something to tell us. Who could have guessed when we started that we would end up here? I want to meet the depressed factory workers who made this chair and thank them. I want to tell them that their work really does matter, and it really is appreciated. I can't do that, so I'll just focus on what I can do. I want you to know that you matter. Thank you.


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