Things of No Matter

WE LIVE IN AN AGE WHEN PEOPLE LEAP to Google for truth and fumble for their cell phones to find the time of day or the nearest restaurant. With the right gismo at hand we are in touch with almost everything and everybody, 24/7, and everywhere you look heads are bowed in deference to a glowing gismo. We’re even comfortable when our entire fortunes exist only as blips of magnetic polarity. We start each day knowing that we are swimming in a thick, hearty soup of information in the form of invisible, intangible energy that we can access at any time. We often wind up the day with one last, indulgent dive into our e-mail or text inbox, alone with a screen, yet somehow connected.
It’s exciting and a little scary to be part of these rapid changes in the way we see and do things. Never before have we had so much information at our fingertips. You can carry the Oxford English Dictionary plus all your family photo albums on your keychain in a gismo so small you might actually mistake it for a key. But the real epiphany of this information age might be the way it has changed how we think about matter. Our electronic photo album and OED have no weight, no mass and are not affected by the passage of time. They can be sent anywhere or everywhere at the speed of light. The tiny flash drive looks just the same after we’ve loaded it down with files, and it hasn’t gained an ounce. But our appreciation of it has increased in proportion to what it represents to us. It is no longer small. It now has great meaning only because of the importance of the materials and information it magically, handily holds for us.
In time, perhaps, this new way of seeing things will affect the way we perceive other objects. We may come to realize that much of the true appeal of items we value—a book, a painting, a ceramic vase, or, for that matter, a bungalow—lies not so much in its physical properties, but in the intangible qualities it carries with it; the expressive, formative energy of its creator’s mind, bridging time and space. The rewarding attraction manifests itself as our mind recognizes and appreciates the creative force that brought the object of our admiration into existence. And that might be why we can instantly fall in love with a house for no single apparent reason.
I can’t help believing that this appreciation of the intangible applies to humans and our relationships with each other, too. Not a day goes by that I do not benefit from the wonderful, intangible energy of friends who are no longer physically at my side. Yet somehow, whenever I think of them, they are there. Where I stop and they begin, I couldn’t say. But then, that is of no matter at all.
Looking forward to hearing from you,





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