Object Impermanence: Dotted Bowl

I thought I’d bring in here a new occasional post on this topic that I’d like to call "Object Impermanence."

I want to call attention to the fact that the things of our lives matter, and that they may last all our lives, but are also, in fact, not forever.

I’ll start with this spotted plastic bowl. I’m not exactly sure how it made its way into my home – it’s the kind of bowl that is labeled "disposable" and has cute dots in various colors on the side, so it wouldn’t be something I or anyone in my family would voluntarily buy. Instead, it must have once held sweets generously gifted by a friend, or less likely, was picked up in a free pile. It may have had a lid that is now long gone.

The piece is #5 plastic – polypropylene (made by Glad) so it will last 1000 years, although I could throw it into my curbside recycling.

This little bowl has had the following lives:

– purchased by someone I know and given to me
– used in the kitchen to hold various foods
– used to hold shower bombs
– used to save cold water in the sink

– used in the bathroom to scoop shower water or bathe

– used to wash masks and delicates

I could have acquired (whether by purchase or free or anything else) something else for all these different tasks, but instead, this one item has served these very well.

Who knows what other lives it will live? Though this was a throwaway item, it has continued to live and outlive its intended usefulness. How can we bring more life to things we might give or throw away, and cherish the things we already have?

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