Hold Or Held

239085Life is fragile and to live life fully are slogans we’ve all grown to embrace and hold to as important.  The fragility of life is that there is only one.  One of a kind, no duplicates.  (cue the snowflake!)

Beside our human life, this was reinforced through the things around us.  Everything was temporary and fleeting.  Our record albums got scratchy and then our cassettes got taped inside itself (a Bic pen could correct this), and then CD’s got too warm in the car and then the music became this sound (no longer a thing) that we can carry along with us.  And that’s only the music.

Apple and Amazon are working out plans to resell ebooks.  I paused.  I pondered.  I’m amused.  I will be able to sell to someone what I can neither hold (at least in a real way).  My non-thing had a value when I bought it but now I can sell it again (in its always pristine condition) and that person can then sell the non-object to another while there was really nothing real to sell in the first place.  “Virtually” no longer describes this new capitalistic twist.  They are even setting guidelines and limits for first time purchase and subsequent re-sellings.

My sister will often give me her books when she’s finished with them and I look for her scripples to read the good parts.  A penciled asterisk means to read that paragraph twice.  Underlined passages are there to tease me into reading further.  It’s a handy method.  Would my little imaginary, yellow Post-It-Notes in my ebook carry over to the next reader?

I find it difficult to comprehend how I can sell what is not really real.  My no-thing that I’ve enjoyed as a new invention now has a value beyond myself.

“In perfect condition” is no longer necessary when I sell my e-book on Craig’s List.  It is always in perfect condition because it’s not real.  I held it but cannot hold it.

Isn’t it important for us temporal beings to be around things that are also fleeting, aging and growing worn?  Where’s that 78 rpm record when you want it?

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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