Thursday, January 19, 2012

Modern Technology

When my father was a minister in upstate New York, I would regularly enter the sanctuary of his office where I got to help him prepare a mimeographed newsletter.  I was too young to type, but I could help with the correction fluid from time to time--that blue stuff that is daubed onto the stenciled template like fingernail polish.  It sealed the shapes made by the typewriter--and then Dad would type over the correction into the waxed mulberry paper.  He laid it on the drum and I turned the crank that spit the pages out.  I loved the smell of the correction fluid and the ink, the whoosh sound of the crank, collating the pages--all of it.

And now, I am one of six or so volunteers who edit my Sacramento church newsletter--the Unigram.  Unlike the creation of my father's newsletter, the entire Unigram is executed on the computer.  Articles are sent via e-mail, assembled in one document, and passed on to the one among us who makes the issue look good.  And then it's passed back to the church for the paid employees to distribute.  This is all done without putting ink to paper.  How times have changed.

Writing is what I love to do.  And while I might fantasize about the smell of ink on the paper or the stain of ink on my fingers, the fact is, I, too, tap at the keyboard without besmirching either finger or apron.  My recently-acquired iPhone is merely another reminder of the leap from ink to ether.  But that's another story.  And Thank goodness for modern technology. 

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