The Properties of Cork

Today, my depression is so bad that even news of a potential new job could not crack my face into a smile.
I feel muffled, enclosed, slow.
Like cork.
Cork muffles.
It stoppers.
But it also prevents breakage.
It breathes, though minutely and slowly.
Cork is the inner bark of the cork oak tree, which grows mainly in southwest Europe and northwest Africa.
It is the name of both an Irish city and a county.
It is an international sailing race held annually in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Made into a bulletin board, you can stick sharp pins in it repeatedly.
It is a last name.
It can taint wine.
Cork is impermeable.
It is buoyant.
It is flexible and elastic.
It resists fire.
It prevents water from penetrating.
It forms an important barrier to harmful solutes, and thus serves as protection from damage.
Cork can be harvested without killing the tree – but only every nine years.
52% of its annual production comes from Portugal.
It makes a lovely floor.
Cork is a good insulator.
It can be used as bricks.
It is used to fasten together sections of musical instruments, making them airtight.
It forms the core of a baseball.
Hung from hats, it keeps insects away from the face.
Footbeds are made from it.
It is sustainable.
It is used in spacecraft heat shields.
Place enough corks in a glass vase, and they become art.
I may be more like cork than I know.


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