Friday, September 08, 2006

The Ocean and the Styrofoam Cup

The ocean is filled with life, motion, color, power, and vast expanses of mysterious depths. And the styrofoam cup is filled with the remnants of yesterday's coffee -- cold, bitter, a slightly metallic aftertaste as but a memory...

The ocean is framed by rocky cliffs, wide beaches of powdered sand, glorious cities with gleaming skylines, and an infinite stretch of horizon hosting rosy dawns and amber sunsets. And the styrofoam cup is framed by dingy, dented, pressed-chemical-compound with brown stains and the indentations of anxious incisors...

And yet -- and yet... the ocean invites the styrofoam cup to submerse its tired corrugated form into the infinite, enchanted fathoms of living water. And if -- and when and as long and as often and as deep as -- the styrofoam cup dares to be immersed, a miracle of renewal is enacted.

The ancient, briny deep enters the shallow confines of the dilapidated space-age refuse. Not merely into but around, under, through, over, out, and in again. The substances and stains of the styrofoam cup are scoured and scuttled by the ebbs and flows of the salts, minerals, and microbes of the ocean water. Yesterday's coffee grounds, saliva, and bacteria are combined with the primordial depths until they are so diluted as to be indistinguishable from the hundreds of billions of molecules which hold their imprint from the dawn of time. The rolling tide reshapes the supple styrofoam into something clean, new, bright, and beautiful.

And when the styrofoam cup is lifted from the ocean, it is drenched and dripping. And filled to overflowing with infinity.

3 Comments:

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Timothy Goering said...

I really like this post! It's fantastic...

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

Cool! I was worried that it would be a bit inaccessible -- or a bit too "modern art"... but the metaphor has been in my mind for several years, actually, and I finally wanted to write it out.

 
At 7:51 AM, Blogger Star said...

Eric,

I've been faithfully reading your blog ever since Jen introduced it in one of her update letters from Amsterdam. Dunno if you remember me, but we've met face to face a couple of times :)

While I've enjoyed all of your writing, for me this is that "one special entry" that demands a response. You've got an amazing talent, and I really hope you continue to develop it! Metaphors are either brilliantly or abysmally done, and this one is, as Timothy said, fantastic.

 

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