Friday, December 12, 2008

stars upon thars

oh, the things I don't know.
billions of facts, millions of pieces of data, hundreds of thousands of statistics, thousands of ideas and concepts and reasons why . . . what I don't know could fill volumes and oceans.
and I am a curious person, asking questions and seeking out answers, and even remembering a few of these things; yet still, I am ignorant of so much.

my latest "why" question is about the new telephone (and power) phones they're installing along my bike route. in fact, I just googled "telephone pole" and found that the PC word for them is "utility pole," and that they are usually owned by one utility company that then leases space to others. since all of the trucks I've seen working with these new poles belong to power companies, I will assume that our power company owns the poles.
it's been a fascinating thing to watch over the past couple weeks. I started out having no idea what was going on, then picked up on a few clues as I rode along, subtle things like those huge orange signs in the bike lane that shout "utility work ahead," and guys in flannel shirts, down vests and hard hats walking from truck to truck. I saw a guy climbing up a steep hillside, belt of tools strapped around his waist, heading toward a pole a good distance away. but my favorite clue were the long, dark wood poles lying along the side of the road. one, then half a mile up the road, three. then another one, and then a couple more. this is when it all clicked together and formed the belief that they were going to be putting up new utility poles.
the poles were dark with a protective coating, looking strong and resilient as compared to those already implanted in the ground, standing tall but pale and weathered, holding myriad wires and cables stretching for miles and miles.
those reposing poles made me happy.
go figure.
and maybe this is why: at the end of one of the poles, the flat "bottom" if you will, I noticed a star-shaped metal decoration. it was an outline of a 5-pointed star, looking like a cookie cutter that had been pushed into the circular section of wood. how beautiful! and what the heck was that all about?
I thought perhaps it was just one special pole, and became determined to then check out all the bottoms of the rest of the poles I rode past.
they all had stars.
stars on thars.
which led me to thinking about dr. seuss, and his story about the sneetches. which if you don't know or remember, you really should re-visit. it is a story about star-bellied sneetches and those without stars, and how we aspire to have what we don't because of envy, or how we cling to our exclusivity due to prejudice. some sneetches have bellies which are star-less, and some have stars upon thars . . .
I do know why sneetches have stars (one of the millions of things I do know), but I don't know why utility poles have beautiful metal stars upon their bottoms.
and if someone would please tell me why, I could remove this pesky little item from my intensely long and varied list of things I do not know.
and if no one ever tells me why, I will still hold on to the memory of these long, beautiful poles, lying on the ground, showing off their pretty stars. and I will remain extremely pleased that those poles had stars upon thars.

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