Phorgotten Phone: A Writer Wednesday PostDecember 4th, 2013 | Posted by in Essays | Publication News
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Our Black Friday was Green, but the photo above doesn’t come from the serene Columbia River Wildlife Refuge we visited with family that day. Nor from the crisp tawny hills we subsequently explored in San Jose, or the silky-stranded stands of eucalyptus near Salinas.
I shot it this afternoon walking Bee in our bit of woods, because I knew you’d look for a photo, and flying out ten days ago, I phound I’d phorgotten my phone. Turned out my brother forgot his, too. We laughed and guessed we did not want to be distracted during this eight-day family trip.
Fast-backward to the early eighties. Every youthful explorer of consciousness has a whopping enlightenment experience or two. Mine came in ’81, and lasted several months. During this acceleration, my artist friends, the streets of New York, domestic life—everything— was intense, colorful, deeply meaningful and I wanted to record it all.
I carried a notebook and pen for words, a clipboard and brushpen for on-the-spot sketching, a heavy-lensed camera, a hand-sized tape-recorder for musical inspirations and conversations, plus fresh batteries, film and extra cassettes. In the days before cargo pants. I was a veritable communications packhorse. It was thrilling to have such capacities, albeit cumbersome.
When smartphones appeared, I recognized that all I had sought was now in a single trim item, with Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist-radio and a video camera thrown in. Plus you can read a book, answer most questions and talk with the people you love.
Eight days with no phone. What did I miss? Other people could place and take my calls for the duration, and I so rarely text that that was no inconvenience. I had another way to check email, and though I sometimes capture a floating melody, I don’t record conversations anymore, or do many al fresco drawings (Cezanne’s house notwithstanding) And I still carry a notebook rather than typing my observations.
But I missed that camera. I know the faces of my family, and I’m continually drawn to the same behaviors of light. But life, while mellowed, is still intense, colorful and deeply meaningful. And you, dear reader, travel with me now. I was sorry not to be able to bring you an image. Happily, some can be carried in words.
If you phorgot your phone, what would you miss most?
Am very excited to share the new cover of “Goodbye Fat Girl,” the forthcoming e-version of my book, “Fat Girl.” It will be released very soon. Watch this space for giveaway news!