Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Visit

I am proud to say that I think I have matured a lot recently. A year or two ago, I would have thought I had nothing new to learn. I'm getting old and old dogs don't learn new tricks. I looked at the world as if it was some kind of science experiment going on around me. Sometimes I thought I might try to effect the experiment but the connection between actions and consequences, cause and effect, seemed hard to pinpoint. Sometimes the experiment was overwhelming.

But, in my mind, some kind of enlightenment has been taking place. I feel that my efforts over the years of trying to work from the inside to the outside are finally bearing fruit. The effects on the great experiment are no clearer, but my behavior and enjoyment of the great experiment has definately changed.

My brother, my sister in law and one of my nephews came to visit in preparation for the grand Christmas event. :)  It underscores that I really love my life now. I get very excited about almost everything now. We went to an antique mall that I pass by almost every day and it was like a museum of life. It was fascinating at every turn. Not only is this museum something I pass by every day, but it is a constantly changing exhibit as people buy and sell. I had never been in it.

In my other blog I whack capitalism around a bit. But how can I deny that this very interesting place was a great result? The value or peceived value of objects has helped keep them in fairly good shape. My favorite item of the day was a Coke bottle, capped, and still filled with Coke. I was the only one excited to see it. I checked it out and I was the only one super excited by it (me and at least one other person who had put a 6 dollar price tag on it.) It was probably from the 60's. It had typical signs of the Coke bottles I remembered. The "Return for Deposit" was written in the same durable white ink as the rest of the bottle. The cap was rusted ever so slightly, but still one could imagine it as it had been. The Coke inside looked reasonable enough. The widest bulges of the May West bottle were properly worn and scratched. If you are as old as me you remember that it was very seldom that you saw a Coke bottle without these worn edges where glass had rubbed against glass in the machines, in the cases, or on the assembly line. When you carried cokes home in a six pack carton, they would tinkle as they hit together. The world was somehow always imperfect even though one expected perfection. The vision of a Coke bottle on a TV commercial would be as pristine as it the day it was manufactured. The reality that dropped out of the machine was a bottle that may have been reused hundreds of times.

It was one of the first and greatest recycling efforts in the USA. Here was an example sitting on a shelf for 6 dollars. I'm not sure what those Mexican Cokes cost, the ones that still contain cane sugar, but they aren't cheap. But I hear and know that they are better than the corn syrup sweetened Cokes that we make in the USA. A few weeks ago my work colleagues were drinking and tasting a group of these Mexican Cokes as if they were a rareity, because they are. I somehow became a little prouder of Mexico for keeping my past intact through all the capitalist changes.

It was and is a wonderful Christmas visit. I love a holiday that before seemed a somewhat more like a psychology experiment, than a time of utter joy that it has become for me.