Thursday, September 13, 2007

And to Think that I Saw it Going Down Grove Avenue!

Today I was driving to get a couple of pizzas (we like the Mediterranean Chicken from Papa Murphy's, if you must know), and on the way there I was struck by all the sights I was seeing that would have amazed anyone even a hundred or so years ago. Not just the everyday sights of cars and lit up signs and traffic lights! More than that. I saw a glider overhead with just a person hanging from it, gliding by and hardly anyone seemed to take note. It seemed interesting to me even though I've seen such things before. Then there were people talking on cell phones. Not too long ago, these were the up-and-coming things and people obviously felt quite important if they were speaking on them. Now, though, they're the old thing, and the new thing is to have a big electronic pellet on your ear and look for all the world (from one side of your head especially) like you're talking quite animatedly to yourself. People talking on these always talk louder than it seems would be necessary. (Now you could seem up-and-coming even if all you are is stark raving nuts--everyone would assume they're looking at the wrong side of your head.)
Anyway, then I saw a girl go by on a motorized scooter. Can you imagine the ruckus that something like that would have started about 120 years ago? Horses would have gone buggy! But she just rolled right by and no one took a bit of notice (except me. I guess I'm kind of easily entertained!).
And I probably went under about 200 electric wires on the way to the store. Someone about 120 years back would have had no idea what those wires were doing there.
I think the thing that got me noticing these things was the fact that I've been reading a book to Tim about Leonardo daVinci, who was born in 1452 and went to great extremes to understand the world around him and who tried to invent all sorts of novelties. He's one of my favorite people in history. He sure would have appreciated the glider I saw. I think that's what got me started. That's one thing I particularly love about makes me think of things I never would take note of otherwise--it gives me a weird appreciation for some fairly ordinary things, a new perspective (even though it might actually be a very old one).

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