In my home an essential piece of furniture. Outside my home a mediator for contacts?
I do everything at my table except sleep and watch TV. I eat meals, big and little, I am on the phone, I work, relax, meet friends, family, and strangers. I change my nephew´s diaper and teach him to sit properly at the table. I cut fabric for new clothes and repair old, do accounts and write appointments into my calendar, let things pile up and clear them away, set the table and light candles, spill something and dry it up again.
When I go outside my home tables in various shapes play a central part in my dealings with other people. Everywhere I go The Table is an essential piece of furniture for various kinds of meetings. It serves as the meeting point in cafes and restaurants and at conferences larger groups gather around It. It appears as desks and counters, in banks when we cash money, in stores where we spend it, in any kind of private, public or religious office where various aspects of life are managed. It exists as the bar in pubs and clubs where profundities and trivialities, secrets and lies are shared among friends and strangers. It is the surface over which we exchange opinions where we agree and disagree, open and close deals – over or under The Table as the case may be. We throw things on The Table and clear It by certain dates.
The Table is a social piece of furniture, we gather around It, yet It keeps us apart physically, thus It becomes a symbol of civilization itself, It promotes mental contact instead of physical. The surface that It offers opens up a room and makes the exchange of ideas possible. It stimulates communication, It is the very furnishing of democracy – everyone is equal around The Table. Without It maybe we would bang heads, losing our language. Is this maybe the reason why It exists everywhere and cannot – as the bench and the bed – be split up into individual units?