As my fingers fly over the keyboard I wonder about our great-greats. If a few of them were to step into my house and sit down with me as I work on my laptop, would they be impressed? After all, I’m chatting with someone on the other side of the world as my lunch is being heated up by the plastic box humming in my kitchen.
I can see William now, putting away his handkerchief as he stares at the AC vents pumping my house full of cool air. His face is no longer beat red from working in his farm, and he holds his hand in the cool air as if heaven were blowing him a kiss.
Would Bertha run her hands over the stack of books that are waiting to teach me something new? Jewelry making, knitting, and of course the pile of books on
parenting from this or that angle. We can do anything, right? She pulls her hands away and wipes the dust on her skirt. Yeah.
I could show them how a person can do shopping on the computer. Click. William might raise his eyebrows as I pay for my purchase with a plastic card.
Their eyes grow a bit weary as we watch the news. I think it’s too much for them, all this war and tragedy fed to us at once. Tears begin to course down their cheeks and mine as well when I let it all sink in. How come we can’t fix that?
William spots the desk across the room, the one from his time…maybe from his own home—I’m not sure how many hands it has gone through before mine. This desk has outlasted decades of throw-it-together furniture. It has seen generations of family pass on, and new ones come in. The details are exquisite. No machine of today could have made a desk that beautiful and few craftsmen today would have the time to make something like that with our constant demands.
I think William and Bertha would take one last look around and step back into their own time despite the hot house and cook stove, where people aren’t expected to be omnipresent. Where a person could take the time to do things right, and civilization realized they weren’t God.
I look at the TV screen, my pile of dusty how-to books. I glance at the articles on my laptop where the fights between the right and the left are nothing but a game of control. Control—that’s how this country is breaking apart. But we can’t, we’re not big enough.
And there is always something that outlasts the thrown-together stuff. I look over at the desk. Maybe we need to listen for a while, watch the master craftsman do His thing. He’s the only one who can do all. of. it. He’s vintage and modern awesome.
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