Our World in a Bottle

ship in a bottleWhile rummaging through the closet the other day searching for art materials I happened upon the most wonderful little treasure. Hidden away in the back behind mountains of paper, sheets, an assortment of candles, and batteries, laid a single bottle, coated in a thick layer of gritty dust. I took this artifact and placed it atop the most sacred place in my room; my bookshelf.

It is curious what thoughts  such a simple object can arouse. I find myself constantly glancing up at this proud little ship, forever sailing within the confines of the bottle, above my literature. I don’t know the history behind putting miniature ships in a bottle, but whomever started this art was certainly a brilliant man. Gazing at the little sailboat I am reminded of the feeling I get when laying on the grass, glancing up at the sky. When I do so, I notice the way the sky seems to bend around creating a dome like appearance before it hits the flat plane of the ground. This has always left me with the feeling of being trapped within a snow globe.

When I think about it however, life is more equitable to being a ship in a bottle. Our world is small, so small and fragile in fact that it might as well be but a little glass bottle within the vastness of the Universe. An old man turns the bottle of the ship to examine the front, and carelessly it slips from his grasp and shatters into a million pieces on to the floor. Our world would be that easy to shatter. And we are the little ship, given the illusion from within that we are pushing forward, crossing great waters- but to an outsider looking in, we are locked in time, in one infinitely small moment.

ship in a bottle 2

We can never be truly aware of how small and contained our existence is, with little ability to reach beyond its boundaries. Even those of us that feel our insignificance daily cannot truly comprehend, because it may be beyond our human comprehension. But within our world, we are pushing with all our effort constantly forward, striving to cross this never ending ocean. We are fighting the most noble and pure of all battles, all the while hoping and praying that our glass bottle will not be dropped.

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