Why am I writing this down? To share my awe.
Every object in this cluttered room is an end product of a person’s vision, of collaborators’ efforts, of painstaking hours and years. Here in this room are centuries of human achievement – and this is a modest-sized room. Multiply by billions and see what we have made, what we have done – what you and I are capable of, should we choose to do so.
A fine cabinet that houses a miraculous device that pulls voices from the air – why did we stop encasing our electronic devices in fine furniture? A handle that pulls water from under the ground to sustain or clean us. A machine that cools or freezes the air to preserve perishable food – a machine that heats the air to preserve perishable living beings.
A tube that fits in my hand and discharges ink evenly so I can share these thoughts and ramblings. Devices and gadgets that allow me to attach related pieces of paper to one another. A well pump or a paper clip – works of genius.
Perhaps that is why I write – why Bradbury writes – why writers write – to share amazement. To wake you up. To shake your soul and say, “Look around you! See the amazing!”
In the palm of your hand is a passport to the universe, a portal to collections of all human knowledge and achievement – all right there for your convenience. Of course now I’m specifically talking about a smartphone, but in a real sense every object made by human hands is such a portal.
Every shoe, every bottle, every souvenir knickknack – all are souvenirs from a moment of time, from centuries of learning and achievement, every cardboard box a solution to a problem – what an amazing pack of creators we are, and how sad that we waste so much time tearing things down.
“I made this!” cries the child. See what she has made. Cherish her creation and her creativity. Celebrate the builder – and understand that we are all builders. We are here to create, to reach across rivers and plains and mountains and oceans, to create a bridge to the stars.
We can do these things. We can find the path to understanding it all. What shall we create today: harmony or dissonance?
Choose the awesome.