I sit, regarding the spent cartridge of a shell, one of 21 fired at the interment of my father's ashes beneath the shadow of a sharply-presented American Flag and the slow, precise salute of a young Marine. It sits beside my bed, the first and last thing I see each day.
In my study is a small box. Newspaper clippings, photos, an old homemade chessboard, a clock I made for him in Shop Class many, many years ago, a wind chime from his front porch, and handmade DreamCatchers.
Also a Galilean Thermometer.
It's a deceptively simple device. A sealed glass column of water, in which is suspended a number of small spheres, each filled with their own colored liquid, as well as their own unique buoyancy properties. As the temperature of the water changes, the spheres, marked with a temperature, sink, one by one - the lowest floating sphere records the temperature.
Although the physics behind it are complex, the solution it represents is elegant and clear. It is fine to look at. It solves a problem and it communicates information at a glance, with no fiddling, no adjustments. It fulfills its design and nature by simply existing. I do not need to second guess it, I just need to know where it is, and that I can trust it.
It's 70 degrees now. I just glanced over and knew it.
A column of brass, that once and still inspires my heart to jump, and a column of glass, that is always there to flawlessly inform me, "this is how it is." Tiny facets of a world that was my father.
Listening to: Perfume