Boxes, tanks, wrappers: for this week’s Photo Challenge, show us something that contains something else.

Photo by Ben Huberman

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From “Don’t judge a book by its cover” to “Don’t look at the jug, but at what it contains” (an old Rabbinic saying), we’re constantly taught that the contents of things are more important than the vessels, wrappers, and boxes that hold them in place. This week, let’s give outer shells their due and focus our lenses on things that contain other things.

On a recent visit to Dublin, Ireland, I had a chance to stroll around the huge Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate — a real city-within-the-city. Coming out of a long tunnel, I was faced with a surreal site: an endless field of silo-sized tanks. It took a moment for it to sink in that these futuristic, slightly daunting structures were full of beer.

I found it jarring, at first, that a beverage that’s (literally) teeming with life — thank you, yeast! — would be kept in such sterile, stark conditions. By the time I saw these again on my way out, though, the contrast made sense: the intimate act of drinking beer with friends at a pub is, after all, the result of a complex process that has been perfected over millennia. These metal tanks were simply one aspect of that chain of consumption.

This week, share your own vision of a container you find interesting. You can take the challenge as literally as you want — a box of chocolates, a broken bottle, your town’s water tank, an empty shell on the beach. Or go in a more figurative direction — from the skin that wraps our body to the comfort of a hug, we all constantly hold and are held by other things and other people.

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