As Thick as a Brick


This block of densely compacted earth

with added straw, flint, and other locally sourced scraps

mixed by the rhythmic treading of hooves of horses

until a clay paste

placed into moulds

and left to dry

is a one of the mud bricks

also known as clay lump or cob

which makes up the structure of our house.

When it is dry

although fine granules may fall off of it

like the sands which count the passage of time

it is solid, strong, and hefty

but add water

and it soaks it up like a sponge

making it soft, pliable, and light

gradually breaking it back down into its constituent parts.

It is a thing of beauty

to behold

and to hold.


“The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.”
― Italo Calvino