09 December 2016
Open Letter to a Bag of Bricks
Dear Bag of Bricks,
You will probably never read this, being a bag of bricks, but I’m not writing this open letter for you anyway, I’m writing it to call attention to myself at your expense, why else would anyone write an open letter right.
You didn’t start out as a bunch of bricks in a bag. Each and every last brick of you was made individually albeit by a machine and with the intent that every one of you should be absolutely identical; but the world is not so simple, and so each of you are unique, at least in some limited sense of having unique patterns of scratches and specific chemical compositions, plus your own personal history of being nicked and roughly handled, etc. Nonetheless you’re all effectively identical, let’s be real, you’re a bunch of common bricks after all. But in some sense you are individuals; you will be slathered with cement and then laid each into a slightly different place, never to move again until you can no longer maintain structural integrity and crumble into lifeless fragments, smaller and smaller until thousands and thousands of years hence you shall return to the merest trace of stardust of which all of us are made, bricks included.
But I came here this evening not to pontificate about the bricks themselves so much as how they got in that bag, what they are doing there, wither they shall be conveyed and ultimately used. For a bag of bricks is nothing in itself. It is only through being conveyed to worksite and then integrated in an orderly fashion into something large, possibly beautiful but at least in some sense constructive, or in other words it is only through edification – not just the the building of something but the building up of something – that bricks realize their ultimate destiny.
Cuz here’s the thing: I know how you feel, in fact I venture to say that I know exactly how you feel. For I too, once upon a time, was but also too merely a lowly bag of bricks.
I worked my way up from the brickyards of my fathers, I pulled myself up by my own square corners. When I started on my long journey I was quite nearly an empty bag, I held deep down in my darkest recesses but a single brick. The other bags would tease me, calling me One-Brick and other derogatory nicknames, making me sit at a table in the corner by myself and never inviting me out wilding with them on Friday nights. Ah what a sad sack of bricks I was, never would I know the pure bricky joy of being thrown through the windows of abandoned factories, or being used to prop open an important door, or assembled into a fire pit around which humans drank from a bottle, telling their stories and singing their songs… Dreams and hopes were all I had, all I could ever hope to have, the dream of becoming a big strong bag full of the kind of quality bricks that would make my mother proud, make the whole world sit up and take notice, make the universe, for once and for all eternity, acknowledge my existence.
The bag holding aforesaid bricks itself has quite an interesting story, a story that reaches far beyond the mere bricks it is carrying, it is quite possibly, perhaps, the most interesting bag on earth. Few bags would have more tales to tell. Wait a second, do bricks even come in bags? Maybe from a Home Depot or something I suppose. But no, who ever heard of a bag of bricks? This is idiocy. Forget I even wrote it. (Do I still get paid? Yep I get paid either way, it’s in my contract, eat it people … and see you next week!)