Sunday, July 13, 2008


(I gave a quick “be right back” note here and received a reply before I even posted this blog. Not bad, readers!)

I came back to the college the other morning and noticed how many of the old buildings around our neighborhood are made of bricks. New buildings, as well. Houses, some storage and work places, businesses – you name it, there are bricks keeping it together.

How many? Not in a building, but in the world?

A billion would seem to be a small number, as it is only a thousand piles of a million bricks. A trillion would be a thousand piles of a billion bricks: quite a lot, but still you wonder if that would come close to what we’ve used over the years.

It’s not as if there is only one brick factory and it has a “McDonald’s” sign out front: “50 Trillion Sold,” or something like that. Maybe nobody can come up with any sort of estimate. If I asked around, would anybody come up with a guess? Or would they wait until I turned away and then make circling motions with their index finger around an ear?

This is not the sort of thing that keeps me up nights; I save that for the larger elements of my life. But since I am curious about everything, it’s just something to wonder about.

Heaven. Tom: “How many bricks existed?” God: “Huh?”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bricks are interesting. One by one, they have no particular beauty - but when conceptualized by a master and built with hundreds of thousands of bricks, the resultant building can be exceptionally beautiful. It can also be the opposite. Nazi gas chambers were built of brick. We must always ask ourselves if we are to be a brick in a building, what kind of building should we be. It will help us decide which other bricks we hang around with.

July 14, 2008 4:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

This is the first time I've receive a response to a blog I've yet to write!

July 14, 2008 5:06 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Tot told K and I that,during the school year, a kid was put in the corner for acting up. The teacher told him to count the holes in the bricks.

July 17, 2008 8:46 AM  

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