I’ve always been enamored with the idea of the message in a bottle. To seal a slip of paper into a tiny buoy and the to set it adrift in the world, not knowing who might find it someday, how they will perceive you as the sender – it’s like reverse voyeurism in a time capsule. But it is so much more personal and certainly less salacious than simple exhibitionism. The general concept is intriguing to say the least.
And then there are the multiple variations on the theme. Students attaching notes to balloons and casting them to the skies. Random foreign pen-pal services. I think we just like the idea of being able to touch someone somewhere else without even knowing where or when we’ve done it.
I listen to the news most days during the commute to work. Things happen in the world, you know? So often my thoughts are left on the people they happen too. Earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, famines, victories, defeats; they’re all the events of history flashing past every day. And in this age of instant media, even with hundreds of these things happening daily, we still seem to see only the event of the moment. Everyone wants to cover the hot news item in over-the-top depth – but only until the NEXT big thing happens tomorrow. Then suddenly its as if yesterday never happened. Of course, that’s until the event anniversary falls on a slow news day.
But still my mind rests on the people left over after the news cameras have gone. It’s those people I’ve always wished I could drop a supporting message in a bottle to.
2011 has started off with a bang, with the democratic human wave sweeping the Middle East, the last the of the shuttle flights, and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown headlines. So I’ve decided to drop some global message posts to the people of the world when events happen. Call them my own little time capsule messages in a bottle. Nothing special and certainly not newsworthy for most people, but it’s my hope that on occasion someone may stumble onto one that might mean something to just them. Who knows, maybe years down the road as I look back over old posts it may help keep alive the thoughts I was having at the time and make some good fodder for an essay or two.
I’d also like to challenge you to find your own symbolic message bottles to toss out into the world.
(by the way, I’ve posted the vector SVG file of the image above over at OpenClipart.Org for anyone who wants to resuse it)