Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meaning in Accident

There is a piece of clay in my house. About the size of a Kiwi fruit, and shaped vaguely like one that's been a bit squashed. It is dingy-white and red, a natural clay found not far from here, and harder than stone. Never having seen a fire, it was age that hardened it. Being worked, at a nearby clay works, it was one day dropped and never again picked up.
In its surface, indented a small depth, is a perfect human thumbprint, its whorls and ridges as hard as the hubs of hell. A thousand years and change, and the thumbprint is perfect to the touch, not mating with my own but rough against it. A human presence, physical, warm if left in the sun, cold if left in the shade. To touch the dead, all I have to do is turn to the cabinets and take down this artifact. To touch the living, all the dead have to do is wait. What meaning exists, must exist in accident. Nothing with purpose could carry so much weight.