Monday, April 29, 2013

The chalkboard legacy and how a a typewriter changed my life

I've got two huge chalkboard walls.
One in my kitchen and the other in my studio.

I have them for a number of reasons.

1. I get tired of looking at the same thing and love the notion of changing a wall on a whim.
2. I love the idea that I can use white or colored chalk to bounce art off my walls.
3. My son/students will always have a place to write and practice their (cursive writing) since no one      really cares about cursive anyway.
4. I believe the past must be brought up through the present in order to best understand and provide for the future.

As you can easily see- all four reasons are practical. However, I would like to expand more on the fourth reason because well... it needs to be expanded upon.

I call this bit of prose "The Chalkboard Legacy."

Our generation.

I worry about it often and contemplate what it is we are leaving for those behind us. I have no worries that the generation to follow will know how to troubleshoot computer issues, text at 300 words per minute, and tweet, poke, and block their online friends.

Will they know that students used to write on slates in one room school houses and teachers had to write individual lessons on each slate?

Will they know about the QWERTY connection and how the letters on the modern day computer were put in place because of the typewriter back in the 1700's?

Will they know that the inventions of the chalkboard and the typewriter are major contributions to society's need to communicate?

I hope they will. I have a hangnail of hope, I guess.

In my studio, I have carefully selected items from the past. They stand as reminders for me to land humbly in life. They remind me of the greatness that came well before my existence and because of hard work, determination, and COMMON sense -things like the chalkboard and the typewriter came to be.

 I cherish my traveling, turquoise typewriter. I take it with me to events and other places. I found it while shopping with my Mama Lee in Alderson, WV for $4.00. It's been all over the place and hasn't spoken a word in over five years. It needs a new ribbon. I hope to get it talking again soon.

 It sits on a table beside my brick wall and receives a few taps a day, usually from students who are fascinated by this machine that does nothing but throw letter punches at an ink less ribbon.

Even still, they love it.

I hope I can inspire future generations to remember that our past links us to our present and that God guides us into eternity with the help of some pretty amazing humans.

Tomorrow night is our Chalk it Up Studio Event at A Place to Land.
In celebration of the brilliance that came before us-- We will commit our hands to a night of messy painting as we cover books, trays, frames, tags, and more! Each stroke of paint will mark an item with a reminder from the past.  And to James Pillans, the chalkboards' creator,  thank you sir for the chalkboard legacy!

I don't know about you, but I'll take a chalkboard over a smart board any day!

May we remember friends, we've got two hands.

One to carry the past and the other to embrace the future.

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