In Praise of the Flask - The Art of Living the Good Life (Simon Western)

Oct 01, 02:00 AM
In this podcast I read a short essay that explores the art of living the good life through the lens of the thermos flask.

Internalised as a childhood ‘good object’ that represented happy times- family holidays and mountain walks- and it produced ‘good things’ that comforted me; warm nourishing soup and hot coffee. It acted as a transitional object when I travelled, bridging home and my place of arrival, and it became a lost symbol when consumerism and the cappuccino cult seduced me and millions of others to abandon the flask.

Covid19 lockdown closed the cafes I frequented and a ‘return of the repressed’ occurred. The flask re-emerged and ‘flask-time’ has once again become an important part of my life, in unexpected ways. Flask-time is a special time, a transcendent time beyond ‘ordinary time’. Flask-time by-passes consumerism, connects me to the past, present and future, and emancipates me from patterns I was previously entrapped in. I praise the flask, because it engages me in a slower and freer experience, it inspires a micro-resistance to consumer society, and it re-connects me to nature, home produced food and to what it means to live the good-life. 

A print version of this essay can be found here: In Praise of the Flask