Thursday, 27 November 2014
In contemporary Europe it is common to regard a vessel as something which is purely functional. For example, people to-day buy milk in cartons and when the milk runs out the carton is thrown away as rubbish. Until quite recently we used to have milk delivered in glass bottles. When the milk ran out, we left the bottles out on the porch step for the milkman to collect the next day and, presumably, he took the bottles back to the dairy to be used again; an attitude (taken for granted) which already suggests something more respectful than throwing plastic cartons away. Going further back into the deeps of time I am sure that there are people, perhaps even readers of this blog, who can remember when they took their own china or earthenware jugs to a milk cart to have it filled with a churn. That jug may have been cared for for many generations and may have had some great sentimental value; a simple container but a small treasure.
I was thinking this when the milk ran out this morning. Yes, milk is more valuable than a plastic carton thrown away.