I am a parent, futurist, and technologist. My career has spanned the birth of personal computers to the rise of cloud computing.
The story of the (a) Shell
Is there a significant connection between form and purpose than the shell? It is perhaps a whole, or maybe it is half. It was probably once a home. Deep underwater or buried in the sand, opening to breath in the saltwater and closing around what would be food. Until its owner, the shell homeowner became food, and as the juicy insides are consumed, the hard shell spits out to litter the ocean floor.
It is at home. Not the kind of home you see a for sale sign in front of, move-in ready! Instead, the home of a simple creature. Not one is sitting in a car waiting for rush hour traffic to die down so the mad dash home won't be 3 hours. Home is where the shell is, although the shell isn't home, it is the home. Until one bright day suddenly, it isn't a home; its occupant is passing into the next existence. Leaving two halves, or a whole shell there where once was life is now a calcified exoskeleton.
It flutters to the ocean floor, and for a time, the shell finds a new peace. Its old purpose is protecting a small creature now replaced by its new function covering sand on the bottom of the sea. The shell adjusts to this new life. But the ocean is not static. It moves with the passing of the moon. It moves with each wave. Eventually, the shell, not tethered, breaks its connection and begins moving.
Slowly over days, hours, weeks, years, the time scale is not relevant to the end state. Time for a shell is, at that point, simply something one considers and discards. If it takes a year to go from lying on the bottom of the sea to lying on a beach, then it is merely a vacation planning process.s. Except the shell isn't vacationing, and there is no process.
The shell, perhaps whole or perhaps not whole it doesn't matter the shell regardless of perception, is a whole. Makes it's way to the beach, and there, as it sits in the warm sun, it waits. Each shell has a goal, a purpose beyond what begins.
Purpose done but function not
Each shell begins as a home. Some are fought for, homes much desired. Some are stolen, apartments stolen, and taken. Some are simply homes until they are no longer homes and then the flutter to the bottom of the sea to start the journey. It does not matter to the shell any of its transient states. Those are moments in time. Memories, if you will, etched on the surface of the hardness that is the shell.
One flip, one slide at a time the shells journey is complete. Perhaps, sitting in the shallows, a hurricane stirs the sea like a giant bulldozer. Pull the shell in question from the bottom to the beach. The shell doesn't care. The time for the journey is the time for the journey. It doesn't make a difference to the shell if it is on the beach on Tuesday, or Thursday or not for six years. The goal of the shell is neither the ocean floor nor the beach. The purpose of the shell is its next phase of existence—the next phase of being a shell.
So we come now through the harrowing journey. Picked up, sucked up and considered by every single predatory sea creature along the path. The path is the path, and there are no considerations for the length or the type of path. No one measures the hardship, the loss, or the change over time in the path. It is but a path. It is not more than a path. It is the transition from one state to another.
The shell lands then upon the beach. There is no tremendous welcoming ceremony, no band playing Marching Music, and the wave [ushed the shell onto the beach. The last step in the journey to the next phase complete. No bands, no cheering crowd, just a wave is pushing the shell as far as it could push—pushing to the very edge of the high tide mark. Or perhaps further storm surge from a hurricane pushing further and further past the average or normal high tide. But the water always retreats. As if the beach was both mission and failure. Both goals and transient stops.
That journey now completes the shell sits. Time again is relative. No longer a home. No longer food for every predator in the sea. No longer servings its original purpose, the shell now is in preparation for its final phase.
The squeal of a child is heard on the beach, the joyous sound of discovery.
"I found the perfect shell," a child's voice says, and the shell slides into a deep pocket. Eventually, others join, and the shell is part of something new. The shell soon joined by other shells and then at the end of the day dumped into a bowl.
It has moved into a home, a former home now in a home as a decoration on a table. The cycle of its existence complete. Time is relatively still.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 DocAndersen
DocAndersen (author) from US on August 18, 2020:
Thanks - I have been working on this one for a while.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 17, 2020:
Are you kidding me?! Wow this is great stuff. I just went and got a shell of mine to rub. I am moved.