Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Modern conveniences, color and not much about the sun

Thinking this might be a flash fiction day, I Googled a bit, seeking current challenges. The "snake hunter" photo was not an answer, nor was a three-sentence story told from the POV of a, in my case, mosquito. Worthy challenges, just not quite hitting the mark.

Another site suggested the title of whatever song came up first on one's Shuffle as the title for the story, or, lacking an iPod or iTunes, mentioned Pandora. Am I the last human to know about Pandora, a radio site where one can choose from eight or so categories of folk music? I'm not sure that I agree it belongs there, but my first tune was George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun."

As I spent the first part of my morning photographing (yes, at the last minute with the flash and its glare) and copying color pencil samples I was mailing to a rubber stamp store and as I had the choice of a sun image or a sunflower, I squinted and proclaimed the signs were lining up. Or so it seemed.

Our scattered clouds have gone back to their corners, leaving open space for sunshine to reach around trees and a wall, warming my left knee. I guess I'm not fiction-inclined today, thinking instead of elements connected to my stamping.

For years I lusted after any impossibly costly color copier that I would lease and have in my home. Having been through the travail of a black and white copier and its paper jams and toner mishaps at my last real job and knowing - this was in the 80s - how long one could wait for the technician, it is a fact that I hadn't thought the matter through. Luckily, if you want to look at it that way, the cost was too crazy and my credit too ordinary and that fantasy, though not forgotten, was surrendered.

That brings us to this morning. Six a.m., in my home, in my house clothes and house hair, and I am making color copies of my samples there, steps from the kitchen, in mere seconds, really. I am awed once again at the advancements that make our lives better, richer, happier, easier and the world is not, entirely, careening down the greased chute to extinction based on too many years of too many bad ideas. May I never lose the wonder and gratitude I feel for being able to make color copies at will.

The magnitude of this only-dreamed-of luxury ties for Best Thing with the US Postal Service having procedures set up that allow citizens to print out labels with postage on their computers, schedule pick-up for Priority Mail at the front door and not have to take every package weighing more than 13 ounces to the post office. In a flat rate box, with printed label and pick up, it's on its way, no questions asked. When I discovered that, my life improved by a factor of at least 7.

My few hundred word overture to flash fiction was not worth preserving, other than that it brought up colors and caused me to spend time with the names for such I found in researching Memento stamp pads, such as Tangelo, Rhubarb Stalk, Paris Dusk, Bamboo Leaves, Potter's Clay and Grape Jelly. I wonder if one could work from home inventing color names for assorted products. I remember sending for, with great anticipation, a Mr. Peanut bank, paid for with several cellophane peanut bags and a small amount of cash, finally picking his color from among, I believe, three or four choices. I thought he would feel most like himself in Peanut Tan.


susan t. landry said...

so much of this resonates, marylinn. i always wanted my own xerox machine. when i worked office jobs i was notorious for co-opting the office machine for artsy output, which was only black and white back then. in soho--this was the early 1980s--there was an art store, back when artists actually lived in soho, called Jamie Canvas. not only did Jamie Canvas have a huge color xerox machine (imagine a sci-fi drawing with short dash marks = emanating power in a halo around the machine, with accompanying noises of production) BUT artists were allowed to 1) run the machine themselves; 2) allowed to adjust the color levels to their whim/aesthetics. holy catfish: heaven on earth!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - When I really got going with all that grew from stamping, Pasadena also had an art supply store with giant color printers. No customer hands-on but artists moonlighting who could do anything. For my 50th birthday, 2 friends gave me a generous gift certificate for color copies. It WAS heaven. xo

Antares Cryptos said...

POV of a mosquito could have been interesting. Or not. :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - It seemed to have possibilities, but not in the moment. :)