Ron handed me a glass of orange juice with the twinkle in his eye that said he was up to something. He smiled charmingly as he waited for me to take a sip. But I couldn’t. As soon as I touched the glass, I knew everything about the orange juice in it. I saw the man shelving it at the grocery store, the people who ran the processing line, the truck who had delivered the oranges, and the people who had picked the oranges in Florida. All of this in a simple glass of orange juice.
Twenty years later, it is happening again. Everything I touch brings its history to my awareness. The simple act of washing dishes brings memories of my grandmother standing at her sink and looking out the window at the neighbor’s yard. For a moment, I am back in time, sitting at the children’s table, and admiring the old stove that stood in the corner of the kitchen. The cookie jars shaped like houses lined the hutch beside me while an old calendar hangs on the pantry door where she kept the green Lipton Tea glasses-glasses that I was now washing by hand.
Everything has a memory – memories that overwhelm from time to time. “Does an atom have consciousness?” asked my Buddhist major teacher in the defense of my thesis. “Why, yes, I believe it does.”