Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
How heavy is the
water droplet which beats earth
Occasionally as I sit down for my muse all the topics I thought of while in the shower or while driving refuse to come out of my fingers when faced with the stark blank white page of a new Sunday musing. It doesn’t help to change the color of the page. I used to use colored paper to write on, and with modern technology you can change the color of your writing page faster than you can run to the stationery store for that lilac colored tablet you have to have for writing inspiration. To this day I carry a small tablet and a pen in my pocket to try to grab phrases or thoughts as they occur. I don’t write and drive though; holding a thought in your head until you can pull over to write it down is not always easy, or else it sticks like a loop and you can’t get it back out of the head. I haven’t yet learned the modern technology of voice recording on small devices. Ah, the techno-ditz! Always something to learn.
When I started writing as a teen I loved the feel of pen on paper scratching across a new clean surface, putting words together in random stream of consciousness strands of sensenonsense. I took typing in high school. That’s what we call keyboarding now. I wasn’t very good, topped out at 60 words a minute. With spell check and grammar check and the ease of correcting with a computer, the timing of 60 words a minute doesn’t matter now. Those old manual typewriters went so slow; they really were manual, one letter key raising in a four inch arc to greet the paper. If you typed too fast the keys would jam together mid-arc. The “new” electrics weren’t much faster as they still employed a physical movement of the keys. But if you didn’t have your touch just right on the electric typewriter the thing would repeat type letters and all kinds of crazy stuff would appear on your piece of paper. Correction tape ribbons were a convenient innovation but only one step away from the ugliness of white-out. Never felt very organic to write on a typewriter, though I love movies that show authors laboring away on a manual typewriter.
I bet you had no idea I still have one electric and two manual typewriters. They haven’t been used in years as you can’t hardly find replacement ribbons that holds the ink the keys pushed onto the paper. By the time I had my son I was using a computer to write. I often nursed him as I wrote, holding him in one arm and typing with the other, an excellent skill, by the way, to be able to type one handed with either hand. Before he was 18 months old he knew which floppy disc went into which disc drive. Floppy disc? It was what we used for memory storage before we had gigas. Though he was fascinated by the computer, when I set one of those old typewriters in front of him he had so much fun spending hours creating gobbledygook on paper before he knew how to spell. He knew what he meant to write as he would tell me the story as he wrote. Gobbledygook is in my current spell checker.
The hubster bought one of the first home sized Texas Instruments computers many years before the son arrived. He isn’t an engineer or even a geek; he wanted to play games. Parsec was the first space computer game I played and that was enough. And, big surprise here, I still have one of the old TI-99s in storage. Home sized back then meant about half of an eight by eight room with cpu, modem, cords, connecting ribbons, box space to store your memory which at that time was cassette tapes, and room fans to keep the room cool enough for the computers to work. The other half of the room you had your chair and desk with the keyboard and monitor to play the games on. Today I love the ease of my laptop.
The old TI-99 came with a primitive word processor. The cut and paste on it was so clumsy you had to save what you cut (remember we used cassette tape to save everything on), remember where you saved it, and search for the place you wanted to move it to, before you could paste it in. When I went to college after the son arrived in the 1990s, the computer lab was word processor heaven to me, except for the save feature which was still very slow. It was so slow if the lab was empty I would run eight computers at a time, four on each desk facing each other, using the wheeled desk chair to skate from one to the other, writing a paragraph or editing the last, then saving as I went to the next computer for the next paragraph and save of another class’s essay. The rural area I lived in had “brown” power which meant the electricity went out on a daily basis, so you saved all computer entries every few minutes because when the brown-out occurred all was lost. When other students complained to the lab director they wanted one of my computers he would laugh at them and say “Just ask her. She’ll skinny out.” No problem to give up a computer to another student. A life long trait, I take up as much space as I want until asked to share.
At community college I learned to compose on the computer. The scratch of pen on paper, while essentially organic, was no longer fast enough to record my thoughts. Word processors became successively more sophisticated. Maybe the connect in my brain did as well. Whatever. To put finger to keyboard and immediately see the results, good or bad, on the white screen was revolutionary in time saving and editing for me. Oh yes editing, the writer’s best friend. Even these little muses are highly edited. And then I praise the word processing software gods whomever they are.
Today we didn’t get one of those profound essays I write while in the shower, but we tottered through a little reminiscence of my evolutions through writing, typewriters, and computers. Organic in a different way as I’ve spent many watery tears and frustrated brain cells over the challenges of technology. Sans colored paper.
Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – the blue and green which remains on my discarded Christmas tree now a home for bugs and birds while I watch for missed ornaments before the final chop and mulch; a soft green mass of moss and random spreading stonecrop; the promise of spring with pistachio hued buds of lilac leaves on brown branches; the subdued green and blushing pink of hearty sedums.
Currently Reading – Anna Karenina (1878, fiction) by Leo Tolstoy; Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability (2012, psychology) by Mark Samuel; Mr Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers (2002, biography) by Ed Sikov. Yes, concurrently.
Join me in reading this year’s Sassy Kas Winter Classic choice, Anna Karenina, especially if you haven’t read it before. I’ve always been warned how dreary Russian literature is, but I am enjoying the novel so far. You might wonder if I’m dreary or in a dreary mood; perhaps, but I don’t think so.
This week I have been grateful for:
- The furious roar of rain beating the earth.
- The brilliant spot of blue sky and golden rays of sun in between the soft lovely gray clouds.
- Having “500 year’s worth” (the hubster) of tortillas in the freezer.
- Teenagers. Really. They have a different perspective.
- Smoked salmon.
- My laptop computer. And the redundancy of the last phrase.
- So many choices in the cupboard, fridge, and freezer we can’t decide what to choose. Or agree. Some nights it just seems ok to have every wo/man for her/himself in the kitchen.
- Sharing my home with my men.
- Lunch out with a woman friend. Nice to share stories and time together. Just us womens.
- My local lending library.
- That Martin Luther King Jr lived a life with the power of his voice to help others.
- Fiction. Authors.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch