m wood pen

HAVE PEN, WILL TRAVEL


03/15/2012

m wood star crossed loverstwo things.  i heard on the radio this morning that encyclopedia britannica has printed it’s last set of information tomes.  kaput.  finito. over.

what?

another corpse from the battle of new vs old…how could ‘they’ let this happen?  (whoever ‘they’ are, anyway…)

i think i’m on a jag here, talk about groundhog day with my whining on and on about the ebb of life and the uprising of technology…yes, like a broken record.  i chided myself on the drive home regarding my preoccupation with the death of the world as i knew it.

maybe that’s what happens when you cross that 50 yard line…and from 52, the view ahead is definitely shorter than the view behind.  i seem to be happiest when i cling to the safety of those gadgets, sounds, images and tools of this now bygone era.  nothing i can do about it, apparently: time does indeed flow forward like the great nile and from my literal felucca, i wave weepingly, earnestly and longingly to the valley of kings and queens, the temples of luxor, the great pyramids and ironically, even to the guard at the door of that powerful civilization, the mighty tall majestic and fierce sphinx who couldn’t stop the wheels of progress.

yes, i know that the way the world works is amazing, and as i lamented the death of the encylopedia, i was suddenly a young gal in high school, begging my mom for a ride to the library. the reason?  i had put off, til the last minute, writing an essay about john f. kennedy and that bay of pigs pickle, and needed, at the last hour to do my research.  “go look it up in the britannica” was her easy reply as she stirred the simmering pot of spaghetti on the stove.

i left the kitchen with my notepaper and pen and settled, indian style, on the living room floor in front of the long line of proud leather-bound books.  i loved the order of the things, all numbered and standing ready like skinny soldiers, to educate and inform.

reaching for the “k” volume, i carefully turning the onion-skin pages, momentarily enjoying the texture and sound of each flipping sheet.  kennedy, kennedy…john….joseph…backup, remembering my alphabet, jack and john definitely come before joseph.

uh oh.  oh no.  are you kidding me?

i flipped to the front of the book, finding the page that, for some reason, i’ve enjoyed reading as much as i do the end credits of a movie.  scanning up and down the teeny print, i find what i’m looking for: “published in 1929”.

hitting the dead end, i slide the book back into formation, grab my school work, trudge back to the kitchen, and in one fell swoop, convince my mom that the ride to the library is now non-negotiable if she ever wanted to see me make it to college.

the second thing.  kharma is always watching.

no sooner did i get back to my still piping cup of coffee, toss off my cowboy boots & slip into a pair of summer cozy flip flops, pop open my studio french doors to welcome this crispy nice spring air and flip on my computer…when…

my brainiac macbook announced, with a snide little chuckle, “you have no internet connection”!

panic set in, i restarted the o mighty wonderous magic machine, i crawled about on the floor to unplug several blinking electronic boxes, i noticed a new batch of astro and chinchin dustballs, threw off my jaunty yellow hoodie in a fit of frustration, took several gulps of my now room temperature coffee, and sat back in my chair thinking now of a revised day wherein i would not be communing at the apple altar of my livelihood.

instead, what comes to mind?  what on earth can i do with my morning?  how will i possibly cope??

simple.  by reaching for one of my other handheld devices: a worn, elegantly designed, totally outdated and clearly extinct, enclyclopedia britannica…for an easy ride down memory lane.


03/14/2012

from sea to shore...and more

this is a little freaky.  but the cool, good kind of freaky as opposed to the maniacally, bad kind.

i was just settling in for some shut eye, and thought check into the mechanical side of my blog headquarters.

typing the word mechanical just now totally sidetracked my train of thought: from my blog and the point i was going to make…smack dab into the swirling, clockwork, wheels, pistons & whatsy-who-sits that made up so much of the set of marty scorcese’s fabulously inventive “hugo”…which i was mesmerized by yesterday.  i’m still a bigger fan of my new boyfriend, jean dujardin & “the artist”….both movies looked amazing, which to people who are totally visual like me, means quite something.

but, the aspects of “hugo” that drew me in, more so than the sad situation befalling the little orphan boy (so sorry not to have more of jude law in the picture!) who’s over-dyed hair distracted me during the entire movie, was the focus of the physical mechanical bits & pieces that whirred the story along.

so much of our world now is invisible to the eye, not because it’s hidden from view, say, in those great clocks that acted as beacons to entire generations of progress, but because our technology has become invisible: wireless, no plugs, no whizzing wheels or ropes to pull bells.  here i am, typing away on a schnazzy white keyboard and these words will, really magically, be sent to all points in the globe by the push of a button.

i don’t know how it works, and it hurts my brain to even consider understanding it.  the intangible components of so much of life now, while super cool, is super confusing and super removed from us.

i guess that’s progress, and it is mind-boggling.  but the stuff that really gets me fascinated is what goes on behind the scenes, what makes things work, and how each small piston, gear and wheel can power these grand clocks, the enormous, powerful locomotive trains, the teeny coiled spin of a wind up mouse.

yes, i was drawn in immediately for the mechanism portion of the film, and find that my curiosity is piqued anew, as is my awe for the smarty pants who figured all of this stuff out so long ago.

so, it’s the behind the scenes that got me started on this writing jag, and as i was checking out how many clicks i had accumulated on this crazy blog of mine, i noticed a new information option hidden somewhere on my dashboard.  lo and behold, i found myself staring at a map of the world, stretching dabs of colors to lands far beyond the coasts of the atlantic and the pacific.

in disbelief, i realized that this nifty guide was showing me where my blog visitors were coming from.  are you kidding me?  see that map up there?  can you see that??

so, totally mind-blowing, a natural high of trying to grasp the mechanics of this impossible-to-grasp concept: i sit in my house, i sketch, i scan a drawing, i upload it onto this page, i type some weirdly whimsical or personal or goofy bit of gathering thoughts, and push ‘update’, then go back to my day of creating, parenting, reading and sleeping….and then, soft as a whisper, the humming wizardry of wireless internet satellites internet wireless ping ping ping sets to work, sending messages off to the wild blue yonder of this teeny tiny gathering of kindred spirits, of curious adventurers, of faceless open minds who, if only for a moment, are layering their minds upon mine.

so freaky, so cool.

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