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