After strolling out to get the morning paper at my parents’ home, I stopped at the edge of the driveway and looked up at the sky over the Great Plains of America. I was immediately overwhelmed with a strange feeling. I felt like I was on a movie set. Or in a computer animation studio. It was surreal, as if I were in an unnatural place. For a few seconds, I felt dizzy, confused and disoriented. It was the color of the sky that did it to me. A beautiful light blue that I forgot existed. The white wispy clouds also seemed wonderful and weird.
Then I remembered: This is what the sky is supposed to look like! I really forgot that. My mind seemed to be recalibrating, getting loaded with updated software for my new life. Note to brain: Blue skies are normal now. Don’t be alarmed. Next, I took a deep breath and a big wiff of the air. It had no scent. Nothing. No car exhaust, cement dust, sulphury smells or stench of burning plastic. Again, I felt like I was in some kind of artificial dream world. I just stood there for a minute, inhaling and exhaling, feeling a bit dizzy.
After breakfast, my daughters and I went shopping at a Target superstore. My little daughter spent a lot of time in the toy department, darting from display to display, saying, “Wow, look at this!” or “Cool, I’ve never seen this before!” There was a mind-blowing selection of plastic do-dads and trinkets. We stood in front of a talking Buzz Lightyear display for about five minutes, pressing a red button and listening to him make 100 different comments in English AND Spanish.
What struck me was that most of the toys were probably made in factories near our former home in southern China. But we had no idea what was being churned out behind the factory gates. Because those factories were so busy, our skies were so smoggy and gray. But now, we can enjoy blue skies and an amazing selection of cheap plastic widgets! We’ll enjoy the good and try to avoid the bad.wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »