Look and see

When you take hold of a pound coin, or any coin, what do you see?

This is speculative question, the object could be anything, anything at all. In some ways, what it is matters least important. What you see, the paths it carries your mind along, is what I want to know.

What do I see?

Forgery. Reading some news article that a dutch forger has perfected the creation of a forged pound coin. Where does that lead to? Devaluation. CSI style investigations? Court cases? And reactive efforts from the Bank of England to deal with the impact on the British currency? How to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. New types of coinage, to combat the possibility of it happening again.

What do I see?

History. From battering in the early history of man, to modern day banking. Royalty. Approval of the crown. When did they first approve the English pound. And decimilization. 1971.

What do I see?

Metal. Shapes. Patterns. Atoms. A forge, making irregular, yet regular coins of old. Gold, silver and other precious metals, mixed in varying degreees with varied success to make hardwearing lasting currency. And atoms, molecules, bound, by forces of nature, cooked, melted, hammered and pressed.

All around us is complexity, complexity of modern products, of civilisation. Each small part a cog in some huge machine of man.

What do you see?


Easy Start

In my late teens and early twenties, i had a variety of different vehicles, cars and motorbikes, all in some state of disrepair, aging, creaking machines, nursed along, sworn at sometimes, relied on to carry me and mine from place to place.

On frosty mornings, or sometimes just plain old regular mornings, if they refused to spring into life, stubbornly draining the battery with each attempt to turn piston, crankshaft, valves to produce self sustaining combustion, then a familiar can would come out of the toolbox. East Start. Sweet smelling, blasted into the air intake, flowing through, mixing with the existing air and petrol, flowing into combustion chambers, prompting the spark from the plugs to explode the high octane mix, to create that rush of metal parts, flowing, turning, rotating in a symphony of internal combustion.

Energy drinks are like that for me now. I ought to stop drinking them, but somehow my own internal biology has become reliant on them to get the cogs of my brain turning.

And the reason for this mechanical analogy today, I have started reading an old, new book….Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Quite profound and insightful.