THIS is an interesting time to be alive.
We are sitting at the breakfast table with blueberry muffins. Nothing extraordinary about the blueberry muffins, except they are good. Nothing extraordinary about the breakfast table. I built it nearly 20 years ago by hand and it has held up. Underneath the furniture I make -- which, I have to admit, is often crude but serviceable -- I pencil in my name and the date and anything interesting about the construction.
In this case I scrawled, "nearly gave two fingers for this table," on the bottom. A makeshift table saw bucked as I was cutting the legs. It was a Saturday, Kathy was listening to Prairie Home Companion upstairs, and I remember walking up from the basement holding my hand so the severed parts of my fingers wouldn't dangle, wrapping the whole bloody mess in a towel and saying quite calmly to my wife, "Kathy, we have a problem."
Houston, we have a problem.
Well, the hospital folks sewed them back on, if a bit crooked, some feeling returned -- certainly enough to type -- (fortunately it wasn't my throwing hand, my first thought as I walked up the stairs from the basement), and I've sworn off makeshift tools plugged to wall sockets.
What is extraordinary is this: She is watching figure skaters on the ice in Russia -- live -- on her laptop. And I am reading the New York Times on mine.
In between us are the blueberry muffins, a cup of strong coffee, a stack of contact sheets from a class field trip to the Park waterfall and Kathy's beading board where she is building a necklace.
When I'm feeling curmudgeonly about what technology has wrought, I need to remember this morning -- the pleasure and the reach of it.