Friday, March 13, 2015
Breaking News, Maine to Texas
Running out of library books while snowbound, I pulled Henry David Thoreau back out of the "please-take-I'm-never-going-to-read-these-again" bookcase and spent some time in Walden. There I found the exact quote I've always remembered as "but what does Maine have to say to Texas?"
Here's what Thoreau wrote:
"... improved means to an unimproved end… We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate."
When I'm on Skype -- by some miracle not only talking to my son in Vancouver but seeing him at the same time -- I use that fantastic opportunity to tell him that the temperature finally got above freezing here. Then my daughter instant-messages from New York, taking a few minutes at work to find out if my driveway is cleared yet.
I think of my grandparents, leaving home knowing they'd never hear their parents' voices again or see their faces. I'm sure the rare letters that made it back and forth to Lithuania, to Bessarabia, didn't waste space talking about the weather.
The younger ones among you will just take today's communication opportunities for granted but these mysterious miracles are incredible to someone my age. So now with the usual vague guilt feelings, I'll use this fantastic venue to show you something completely trivial -- after our three days of sunshine and thaw, here's the view just now outside the office window. Yes, we had a lot of snow.